I want to welcome everyone from the Health and Fitness blog hop! If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome! If you’re a regular reader, welcome back! Today I’m writing about something that has been on my mind for awhile, and I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about it.
When I was fifteen, I got my first boyfriend. He was the first in a short line that would label me a serial monogamist. We dated steadily through high school but were broken up by the time I got to college, although–like most small-town, high school sweethearts–we ran into each other over vacations and holidays until his family moved out of state.
Anyway, this guy (who shall remain nameless) wasn’t the nicest guy in the world. It wasn’t that he was abusive or hit me or anything. He was just unkind. And one day he said something to me that made me cringe. I’m not going to repeat it, because I don’t want to give it any more power than it already has. It was just a run-of-the-mill insult. And yet, almost 20 years later, I still think of that comment.
I know, I know. I need to let it go, right? I’ve had many flattering things said to me in my life. I had a healthy relationship with my happily married parents. I had good, sweet boyfriends after him who never uttered a mean word to me, friends who love me and lift me up, and a fulfilling marriage of almost ten years. And he was just a silly little boy. And yet…it’s still there.
So why is it that I remember those mean words when I could conjure up any of the lovely things my husband has said to me? Or pull a happy thought from my father, who spoiled me rotten? Or remember the gummy smile of my toddler son, who used to pat my face and say, “Oh hi, pretty mommy!”?
Why can’t I just accept the nice things people say to me? Why is it, when people compliment me, I say, “oh, please…” and start listing a myriad of reasons why they’re incorrect? It isn’t just compliments on appearance I have a hard time accepting. It is compliments on my writing, or my house, or my kid. Here’s a good example:
A couple weeks at my son’s homeschool co-op, we were eating lunch. I had carrot sticks, hummus, homemade granola and a hard boiled egg. One of the other mothers, a woman I like a lot, said, “Wow, that food looks really healthy and good.”
“Oh, it’s just because it’s Friday and I had nothing better left in my house,” I answered immediately. Um, no. I packed that lunch on purpose because I’m trying to cut processed sugars and foods out of my diet. So why didn’t I just say that?!? Probably because if I’d said, Yes, well, I’m trying to eat better so I can lose weight and be healthy while she was shoving a doughnut in her mouth I would have sounded like a prat. But I still could have come up with a better answer.
So one of my goals for this month is to accept compliments as they are given to me. To say, thank you! instead of, awww, no! if someone tells me I look nice. To say, I worked really hard on that, thanks! if someone compliments me on a meal, instead of, oh, whatever. I also want to make sure I’m giving people real, genuine compliments. Not just, I like your outfit, but that sweater brings out your eyes. Compliments that mean something to them, that will really stick out in their mind.
Because you never know when someone will carry something with them.
Can you take a compliment? Have you been holding on to a negative thought that you really need to let go?