Your dignity is something you were born with and you will die with it. Your pride is something that comes and goes. Shame is the flip side of pride. Dignity is essential to life. Pride is extra. Shame is extra. When you are aware of your dignity, you don’t need pride, and shame doesn’t strike your core. When you are not aware of your dignity, your pride is hollow and shame comes easily. If you feel humiliated, your pride is damaged, your shame is palpable, but your dignity is completely intact. It’s important to know the difference between pride and dignity. When you know the difference, you know that you can never lose your dignity. When you understand your dignity, you have a refuge from the ups and downs of pride and shame.
People often confuse dignity with pride. When we feel shame, we feel we have lost our dignity. We believe that we may be stripped of our dignity. We cannot. We can only lose sight of our dignity when we confuse it with pride and shame. Your dignity is your most basic worthiness. Nobody can take that away from you. They can only distract you from it. When you recognize your own dignity, no matter what life brings, you will never question your worthiness. You are worthy of love, worthy of compassion, worthy of happiness. Your dignity is just as pristine now as it was the day you were born.
Pride and shame are conditions of the ego. Dignity is a condition of being. When you recognize dignity in yourself and others, you won’t need to boost your ego with pride or solidify it with shame. You can just be you, kind, compassionate, dignified you.