Honour is a buzz word easily tossed around.
What does it mean?
Where does it come from?
Is it something we are born with? Or is it something that we grow, like vegetables in our garden?
Growing up, I was taught that …
Honour was that thing your brother defended for you when you got bullied in the school yard.
On television, it was that thing samurais displayed in the crux of battle.
In Catholic school, it was that thing that would prevent my legs from parting open for sex before marriage.
With so many definitions, what’s the honour in that?
I remember the day my mother first came home from the mental hospital. She was sitting at the kitchen table, wearing a soft blue nightgown. I was five years old.
When I saw her sitting there, I became so happy! With my heart bursting to receive her love, I rushed over where she was with my arms wide open to get a hug. But instead of acknowledging me, she brushed me aside, telling me to go play.
So I walked outside the house and went looking for my father. He was in the garage repairing the lawn mower. I quietly sat on a tree stump while watching him work.
I thought that my father would want to talk to me, but he remained silent, ignoring my plea for attention.
Not knowing how to feel seen or feel heard, I then turned to my school teachers. But I quickly found out that, unless I got the grades, they did not seem that interested in who I was, how I was feeling, and what I had to say.
Over time, I became an adult who turned on the television and read news online. There were talks of honouring the life of highly decorated soldiers and well-known artists.
Since I was neither highly decorated nor well-known, what did honour have anything to do with me? As my parents had taught me very young, I was apparently a nobody. And there is no honour in that, I thought.
Feeling frustrated, I stopped pondering about honour and started pleasing others instead.
I believed that if I gave others what I thought they wanted, then they might help me feel seen and feel heard. Maybe then … in that moment … I might reconnect with what honour really meant?
What does honour mean?
It took me decades, but I finally met the man I affectionately call Morpheus. His name is Dov Baron.
From the moment Dov first saw me, I felt like he saw right through me, the huge emotional hole I had within, the people pleasing, the confusion in my mind as to what honouring meant.
He saw something in me and started mentoring me. I watched him intently, wanting to be him.
Like a parrot, I started mimicking his gestures and copying his words. To people I would meet, I would mechanically say, “I am honoured.” Because that was something I had heard him say, and it seemed to please the people he met, for they smiled warmly at him.
But feeling angry about myself, I couldn’t help but thin, What is it about him that inspires honour?
Wanting to know what was “wrong” with my honour, I asked him what I could do to honour him. I saw the sadness wash over him as he compassionately answered, “You cannot give what you do not have.”
He then added that the best way to honour him was to apply his teachings into my life.
Here is what I’ve learned:
Honouring is feeling the sacredness of the emotional connection with our souls. It is feeling seen and feeling heard. For example, it is resting when we feel tired and speaking to ourselves and others in compassionate terms. When we are honouring, we forgive easily and strive to learn from our mistakes.
We were born honoured and honouring. It is within all of us, this ability to recognize our divinity.
I honour you to the extent I honour the divinity within my whole being.
Honouring has nothing to do with the physical. It is recognizing our souls beyond socio-economic status, accolades, or money in the bank.
Years have passed and I am more curious than ever about honouring. Honouring is that thing that brings me to my knees, it gives me goose bumps, it fills my heart with joy and gratitude. May the divinity in me always recognize the divinity in you.
Your EQ coach,
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