Good Faith, 23rd March

We all know that sometimes, we have no idea about the difference we make in a person’s life, or on a much smaller scale, in their day. There is one most frequently used, and underestimated technique via which this occurs, compliments.

You’re pretty, I love your sense of humour, You are such a divine singer, You are so creative/intelligent, the common ones, let’s use those more because they are not clichés, they’re classic if you are being honest, and people still bask in them.

The more personalized ones, I love your sense of style, I am in awe of how your mind works, Your dancing brings me to tears, those are just as priceless, let’s use those more.

The lengthy ones, a letter, an email or maybe just a long note or a text message, we all know how we can spend eternity fawning over those! Let’s do that more as well.

The more emotional ones, You are inspiring, You are the strongest person I know, You are so incredibly brave, those are like a direct injection into the heart, humbling, overwhelming, gratifying. Needless to say, I believe we should be handing out those as much as we can too!

This week’s message of good faith is a compliment, no, compliments, give them to whomever you can because they work in ways that sometimes we cannot fathom.

Sometimes they place a positive spin on a person’s entire day and sometimes they are just that little bout of strength and energy one needs to get on with their day. Sometimes they open a person’s eyes to their own beauty that they weren’t aware of, sometimes they boost someone’s confidence to give to the world a gift of theirs that they kept under the bushel for a very long time. Sometimes they help people realize that different people see things differently and they are given a little rope to get through the day, sometimes they simply make someone else smile for two seconds.

But if there is one thing that is always true, it is that they matter. Be it for a moment, a day, or a lifetime, they matter.

And now, the irony. As much as I have seen and believe in all that I just said, there is something I must admit.

Personally, I have a huge defect, I can’t take compliments very well, especially compliments in relation to certain subjects, and I either get awkward or have learnt a bunch of platitudes over the years to supply the giver with (it helps that I am not too shabby with the words) but the real problem is not that it makes me uncomfortable, it is that I don’t believe it.

A couple of weeks back I was speaking to an old friend who was being extremely flattering and like always I told him to go take a hike, and then he hit me with something that knocked the wind quite out of me, he said “It’s just YOU, you don’t ever take this stuff seriously!”

And that was when I realized, I don’t. I actually truly really don’t.

Unless someone compliments me for the person that I am (which I believe to be compliments of the highest order), I never take most of the every day stuff to heart. That day I realized a whole kind of joy I was missing in life, missing because I was afraid. I am too afraid to believe in the smaller things because years and years ago I was hurt. It didn’t seem right. I gave up a kind of supreme pleasure in living, heck no I have up a right, because I just got too scared. I felt angry, but then I realized I honestly had no one but myself to blame, I gave it up, I closed my own heart, I chose to live with walls barricaded all over my heart.

Since then, I have spent years growing to love myself, understand myself, accept myself and be proud of myself, and in all honesty I think I have more or less done well accomplishing all of the above. I thought I was good to go but lately  I have realized that I  still haven’t passed the final test, the test of letting go of my barriers and allowing someone else to say the words, and to take a leap and believe in it.

A couple of days ago, I was talking to my friend about a person we know who believes the best of every single word people tell him about himself to the T and even quotes it to prove himself very often, and initially we began laughing about his naivety, but later we realized our own cynicism that lorded our thoughts, and began to think of how it would be if we could function like that, it didn’t seem quite as stupid on second thought, it seemed liberating, it seemed strengthening, it seemed like something I wanted, the pristine gaiety that submerges a heart, I wanted that, I deserve that, and only I could ensure that I was able to receive it.

This week’s message of good faith is also, receiving a compliment, believing it.

I’m working on both of them, and although one easier than the other, I’m all out to conquer.

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