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“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” ~ Marianne Williamson

The second point of the Iron pentacle, as we move through the body, from the top point, Sex, to the bottom right, is Pride.

Pride is a cardinal sin for the Christian foundation of our culture.

Pride comes before a fall… the meek shall inherit the earth… and so on…

We are warned against getting big-headed, or too big for our boots. We are chastened against pridefulness, for it leads, we are told, to tripping over our too-big feet.

In our world, today, pride is mistaken for arrogance.

The emphasis on false humility, on self-deprecation, on keeping ourselves small, is all so we do  not rock the boat. If we stand up tall, being as big and as bold and as beautiful as we can be, then we can rock the world! Staying small, denying our ability, denying the ways in which we are great, all this does is deny the world of the best of us.

Pride, right-sized pride, in which we acknowledge what we are and have done and are capable of as a good thing, as something to be proud of, comes alongside right-sized humility. When we recognise our own worth, we can recognise the worth of others.

We are special, we are important, we are unique. And so is everyone and everything else.

We all have our places, we all have things we can do like no-one else.

Be proud of yourself, like you would a child who had acheived something wonderful. Encouragement and self-recognition and acceptance is what will help us to be the best we can be, do the best we can do, and to change the world for the better.

Be proud of yourself, take pride in your work, be proud of the world. In doing this you are not being arrogant, instead you are recognising your worth and what you can do for the world. If you refuse to recognise and act on this then you are denying the world of what you could do for it.

Be proud of yourself, and recognise that others are equally as important to the world. If you place yourself over them, claiming to be more important than they, then this is arrogance. Knowing the ways in which you are better at specific things, and recognising that they have thier own skills and beauties, keeps us balanced. Support each other, praise each other, recognise that we all have value simply by existing.

Notice how you hold yourself in the world, how you value yourself and others. Notice if you are prone to self-deprecation, or to cutting others down. Notice when you belittle what you are proud of, or when you focus on what you feel you have done wrong in order to beat yourself up.

Notice these things and try to shift your language, in just one instance each day.

When someone compliments you, say thank you instead of downplaying it.

When someone does something well, offer praise in a positive way, instead of pointing out the ways in which it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things anyway.

When you do something well, or something hard, don’t hide it away. Put a little comment somewhere on Facebook or Twitter, or say something to a friend about how you feel you did good. Notice where you get good feedback from, and if you get a negative response, consider not sharing the things you are proud of with that person or forum again.

Recognise your own value, and the value of all the beings in the world, and don’t settle for those that try to keep you small because of their own lack of pride.

Breathe. Every day you live through is a gift, and mistakes are worth noting and learning from, but it is not worth letting them define you.

Breathe and draw yourself up to your full height. Be proud.

“Your playing small does not serve the world.”

~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love