Sunday, April 8, 2012

Action 299 - Accept A Compliment.

I'm not sure what specific insecurity fires off when we hear something nice about ourselves from another person, but it can be overwhelming. Someone likes our outfit, we downplay it with a remark like, "oh, I have had this forever, it's just an old dress," or if someone likes our new haircut, we attack ourselves with a comment like, "it gets so out of control in the wind, I just cut it short this time."

Why is it so hard for us to listen to praise and just take it in as a good thing?

Action 299 - Accept A Compliment. I am so fortunate to have a large circle of real life friends, an even bigger group of Facebook friends, and an incredible number of buddies on SparkPeople. And with that many people cheering me on, I am blessed to hear and read wonderful things about myself all day long. But it's taken me a long time to be able to process those nice things without feeling the need to denigrate them.

And yes, that is exactly what I was doing. Instead of graciously receiving the compliment, I was insulting the person who was trying to give it to me. My words - critical, mocking, minimizing - told the person being nice that they were wrong, had poor judgement, and wouldn't know a good thing if they tried. I may not have used those exact words, but it was certainly the message I was sending when I pushed back.

Here's the thing about compliments. They are not mine to push away. They are a gift from the person offering them, and the only thing I need to do is hear them out, appreciate what is being given to me, and say, "thank you."

I am much better about that these days, and I don't think that makes me arrogant. I think it means I am much more respectful of the opinions of others, and when those opinions happen to flatter me, I accept it and walk away with my head held just a bit higher and my step just a bit lighter.

And for those of you who have offered me these compliments in recent days, I want to thank you in the most public way possible. So here are your words that you shared with me (in an open blog comment, so no privacy issues here). And I thank you for making my day that much better!
I  just have to tell you that I think you are such an inspiration! I read your blogs and absolutely love them. I know that so many people struggle with the same things that you do and you give such insight into so many things. I may not have the same trials as you do, but you inspire me none the less. I know I am not the only one out there that feels this way. Please, keep up the awesome work you are doing and just know that there are a lot of us out there listening, even if we don't always say so. I hope that you find and ENJOY the joy you write of. Thank you! Much love!

Thank you again for helping me find some harmony amidst the noise... your perspective always brings me back to what matters.

You are one of the most spiritually inspiring people I have ever met. You just don't know that you exude that indescribable light and glow that only shines through faithful people. Maybe you do know. You are one of the most amazing examples of God's miracles. Faith without Works is Dead.......and you have put in the work, my friend.

I just wanted you to know that I think that you are one of the BEST SPARKERS EVER!!!! You always have a kind or encouraging word, even when things with you aren't going according to plan. You pass along great blogs that folks like me would never come across and you are just one heck of a super great Spark buddy. I just wanted you to know.