Today I’m sharing a post that I originally published just over four years ago. I had forgotten I wrote it but as I read it again, it really hit home with me. If I had the time and eyes, I could have written this last week. I’ve made a few small changes but it’s pretty close to the original text.
Originally published May 13, 2015
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, a family member 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 talked about how I’ve been there for everything from breakdowns and tantrums to hospital trips. She used 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.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” -Brene Brown
If I can be completely open with you, lately I would describe myself as angry, unrealistic, interfering, stubborn, overly sensitive. I’ve questioned every move I’ve made.
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 described in that post, that’s not how I see myself.
In fact, because my inner voice is so loud it drowns out the outer voice of my family member.
“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.”
Needing something more and unclear on what it was, I showed her post to a friend. 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.
I’ve looked at that post so many times since she first posted it. I’m trying to drown out the litany of negative thoughts- the ones that accompany every doubt I have when I read the words.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford
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 her lovely words because they made me feel pretty wonderful and loved. 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!
What about you? Are you able to accept compliments and embrace them? Or do you sometimes battle with that negative voice that pops up in my head at times?
Peace and Love,