Dennis Dossett

The Third Step Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson©

In last month’s newsletter I stated that the steps toward the Ultimate life Lesson “are not completely independent. One doesn’t ‘leave’ one step and ‘enter’ the next by any clearly discernable behavior or criterion. The ‘steps’ are really a matter of ‘growing into’ a higher level of consciousness by gradual degrees” on a vibrational continuum. They overlap somewhat and are characterized by labels such as “Tolerance,” “Acceptance,” and “Respect” (this month’s topic, The Third Step). They remind me of my 7-year-old grandson who proudly announced that he was now 7½—not quite eight, but definitely not seven anymore. LOL!

But what are we talking about here? One definition of “Respect” is “to admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” In other words, this type of respect is conditional or contingent on a person’s station in society or their accomplishments. While that kind of respect can certainly be valid, it strikes me as often superficial or even just a formality. For our purposes, respect based on circumstance has little or nothing to do with taking Steps Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson.

However, beyond simple admiration or esteem, Respect as showing “consideration for or taking into consideration” based on “having due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions” of both others and of oneself is a different matter. This respect is based on what the recipient is, and reflects our own character. We’ll come back to the notion of respecting oneself later, but for the moment, let’s consider Respect for others as a higher frequency of vibration than just Tolerance or Acceptance, allowing for some overlap, of course. (Acceptance and ½ anyone? LOL!).

The core of unconditional Respect begins with learning (growing) to see others (Accepting them) as they are. In essence, it entails looking for and emphasizing the similarities between ourselves and others rather than focusing on our differences.

For example, think of yourself—your essence—as an egg. How do you like your eggs? Sunny-side up? Over easy? Poached? Hard boiled? In an omelet, souffle, quiche, or as a custard? We are all—in our essence—like eggs, regardless of how they are served. Does a poached egg judge or look down on an omelet? Of course, not. This perspective is the basis of learning to Respect others as they are and for what they are (souls, the essence of which is Source Energy) regardless of any observed or inferred differences (including personal opinions). Respect is caring enough to take them (those other eggs) into consideration when making decisions about our own life.

Learn to Respect the soul regardless of the body’s decisions and behaviors. This is the basis of civility in our interactions with others and it goes a long way toward earning mutual Respect and cooperation.

• “Respect is … the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality. Respect, thus, implies the absence of exploitation. I want the … person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me.” ~ Erich Fromm (1900-1980; German psychologist and humanistic philosopher)

• “Fortunately, the basics of treating people with respect are simple and entail such things as displaying courtesy and kindness, encouraging them to express ideas and opinions, listening to them, acknowledging their perspectives, and honoring cultural sensitivities and practices.” ~ Naomi Karten (American speaker and seminar leader)

• “Respect is a fundamental aspect of human interaction that involves treating others with dignity, kindness, and empathy. It is about recognizing the inherent worth and value of every individual, listening to others, being mindful of boundaries, embracing diversity, being honest and accountable, and building positive relationships. By practicing respect in our daily interactions, we can create a more inclusive and compassionate world.” ~ Lissette Noboa

Maitreya (Ascended Master channeled by Margaret McElroy says that:

• “Communication is two-way dialog. In any conversation, whether with Spirit or a person, remember [that] communicating involves both speaking and listening. You should be aware of not only your words, but also how you listen to what others are saying. Acknowledge the other person’s point of view, and allow them to speak their truth. If what they have said is not in agreement with your truth, simply detach from what they have said. You do not need to agree, but you do need to listen. If you do not agree with what has been said, just move on. There is no need to waste energy justifying yourself.” ~ Maitreya Wisdom Card #11 – Communication

In other words, Maitreya tells us that Respect is “listening without judgment.” Regardless of any differences, “Give it no [emotional] energy.” This theme is shared by other well-known sources:

• “One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say.” ~ Bryant McGill (1969-; American author & speaker)

• “Listening—really listening—is one of the highest forms of respecting another human being.” ~ Dr. Eric Allenbaugh (American executive coach, leadership consultant, speaker, & author)

Really listening is not just “lip service.” Nor does it mean agreeing with others against or in spite of your own beliefs—your truth. It is simply taking into consideration the feelings and perspectives of others—their truth.

• “Speaking your truth enables you to be truthful to yourself. Listening enables you to acknowledge another person’s point of view and their truth. When you can truly listen to what others are trying to say, take into account their ideas and suggestions, and compromise [on] the differences without losing your own truth, then you have found a middle way to work things out. In this way, you can improve your relationships with others because you have created a win-win situation, and your karma, lessons and past life energy will be worked out much easier.” ~ Maitreya Wisdom Card #50 – Listen

And what does that accomplish?

• “When you learn to Tolerate each other and to Respect another’s belief system without conditions [genuine Respect], then you are on your way to making a better world and creating peace on earth.” ~ Maitreya Newsletter #282 – Religion

I mentioned earlier that we would come back to the topic of Self-Respect. I suspect that those who cannot at least Tolerate themselves are potential candidates for suicide, something I find difficult to imagine. It is a little easier to imagine that people might not Accept themselves as they currently are. But that can be the birth of a desire to change one’s life for the better. When it comes to Self-Respect, however, you may (or may not) be surprised by the proportion of the population that does not or cannot Respect themselves. I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising given the forces of conditioning so prevalent in modern culture.

Children are often taught (shamed is more like it) into believing that they are “less than” others, not “good enough” to be worthy of love even from themselves—a lifetime of conditioning often punctuated by episodes traumatic enough to haunt them as adults. I see it all the time in my practice. Maitreya refers to Self-Respect in the following quote:

• “True listening also means that you need to be totally your own person; to be true to yourself, to do your own thing, to follow your intuition and feelings, and let God and your Higher Self directly speak to you. Listening is not about following anybody else’s voice or allowing others to dictate to you. When you can truly be your own person, you are able to listen to another person’s point of view objectively, without involving your emotions.” ~ Maitreya Wisdom Card #50 – Listen

There is much more to Self-Respect and self-esteem than there is space for in this newsletter, but the fact is that The Third Step Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson is where the “Empty Cup Principle” really kicks into high gear. Specifically, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” In other words, you cannot truly Respect anyone else if you don’t Respect yourself. Why? Because you can’t fully understand what you haven’t fully experienced in your life.

In summary, learn to Respect yourself in spite of your shortfalls, mistakes, and regretted actions. You are not the same person now as you were then, and you are growing every day. Be as civil with yourself as you are with others, and don’t forget the “Empty Cup Principle.” We are all trying to become better versions of ourselves as each of us understands that concept at the moment.

Remember, admiration and Respect are two entirely different things. No one is ever really respected for what they receive; people are honored only for what they give. Our cup is only empty when we don’t allow ourselves to experience the dignity, kindness, and empathy of Respecting ourselves. But with Self-Respect comes the opportunity to move on to the Fourth Step Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson. Think about that. Until next time,

Have a great month!