Every Wednesday, Ronovan invites us to Be Wonderful on Wednesday. This is my contribution. It’s not quite what I had planned but that’s the way these things go.
The evening before my birthday, my daughter-in-law, Jasmine, wrote a very moving post dedicated to me on Facebook. I was tired, emotional and blown away after reading her words.
She described me as- giving, non-judgmental, open minded, kind hearted and caring. She used words like inspirational and blessing. Me. Inspirational. A blessing. She talks about how I’ve been there for everything from breakdowns and tantrums to hospital trips. She uses a bunch of other adjectives that I won’t even mention- because I just don’t see myself that way. My initial reaction was an overwhelming feeling of love for the beautiful person who wrote it. I re- read the words and they hit me in the face. This moving tribute was not how I would have described myself.
The truth of the matter is that the only words I hear are the ones in my head. Although I try to be all the things that Jasmine described, that’s not how I see myself.
In fact, because my inner voice is so loud it drowns out the outer voice of my daughter-in-law.
Needing something more and unclear on what it was, I showed her post to my friend, John. He read it and nodded. I shrugged, tried to smile, failed. Is that really me? was my unasked question.
He stared at me and said, “It’s true. And you should be hearing this way more often than you probably do.” His voice was gruff and he changed the subject.
It made me think. How often do we walk around thinking positive, inspirational and affirmative thoughts to ourselves about ourselves? Well, I’ve just confessed that I don’t. In fact, if my inner voice were a person I would not want to hang out with her. She’s a real downer. And yet, I listen to her and I doubt it when someone tells me nice things about myself.
I think it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between the inner and outer voices. While it’s important to be realistic, there’s no real benefit from allowing your inner voice to beat you up and drag you down. Nor should you allow someone’s outer voice to do the same.
And when someone tells you that you are kind or caring or the backbone of the family or even inspirational, you should take it as the gift that it is. You should realize that people don’t waste their time trying to make you feel good like that if they don’t care an awful lot. And you should embrace those outer voices close to you and let them drown out that negative reel that might play in your head occasionally.
I originally wanted to write a post about Jasmine’s lovely words because they make me feel pretty wonderful and loved. They really do make me feel great and boy did I hit the jackpot when it comes to daughters-in-law. But possibly even more importantly, her words made me very aware of the not so pretty things I allow to run through my head and the realization that it needs to stop. I’m not sure if I will ever feel comfortable accepting compliments from people but it’s time for me to realize that maybe…just maybe they are right!