A pile of compliments…
How did I react?
I swallowed, I sighed, I smiled. Repeated some, closed my eyes, laughed, and enjoyed.
How did I feel?
I have made a decision: There will be three posts about me. I did it in the beginning, I am doing it now that I am about halfway through, and I will do it in the very end. Why? Because you can't compliment yourself often enough. And because change: Will I change? If so, how? I am curious.
The ways in which I change as a complimenter are documented here every day- but who I become as a recipient interests me, too. I can already say that receiving compliments is getting easier for me. I learn from every candidate's reaction. About me and about giving and receiving. I have realized: Not accepting a compliment out of humbleness, or immediately giving something back because you feel like you that is what you should do is no better than accepting. A simple "thank you" is more beautiful than a hundred "but..."s or "You, too!"s. Don't get me wrong: No one can force you to accept a compliment. You decide who and what you allow to move you. I am not saying nod and say thanks to everything. If it makes you feel shitty, don't take it. But I have realized: If I don't allow a compliment to enter my heart because I want to be humble it won't make anyone feel better; Neither me nor the complimenter. Quite the opposite. He wants to praise me- so why don't I let him?
There have been several emails containing one question: "Do you seriously think you can make a difference through this project?"
My answer: Yes. I do.
It may be small and it may seem insignificant. But I do feel a direct impact for me and someone else. Every single day. This is not the only reason I keep up the complimenting, obviously, for I can't control the outcome of those moments and if they were my motivation I would not be honest anymore. In that case my challenge would be about the reactions only, not about the beauty I find, enjoy and compliment in the first place. But experiencing the outcome and making the world a lighter place, baby step by baby step, is one of my reasons.
Same goes for complimenting yourself. Getting a compliment from someone else is one thing, hearing it from yourself is another. To me this is a different level of receiving. I gave it a shot two nights back. Again, I did not do it to heal the world, I did it to make myself happy on a day of disappointment and frustration. I gave myself a giant hug. It worked: Before I had been feeling sad and weak, during I said hi to a frog in my throat, and after I felt warmth creeping up my stomach and a glow all around me. There was a sense of freedom. A broad smile covered my face.
And: By turning a night around for myself I prevented myself from taking out my load on someone else like I have before. This goes for everyone: I am convinced that if we all give ourselves honest hugs, praise our greatness or flirt with our reflections in the mirror the world will be a better place. Because we will be better people. Less dissatisfied and cruel and more generous and empathetic. That's right, I am pro soul masturbation. Very much.
Complimenting myself did not turn me into Mother Theresa on the spot (and it probably never will for I am not planning on marrying god). But it left me feeling happy, whole and full of love. If you ask me that is a great place to start.
Here's how this works:
It turned out very long. So start the video, watch a little, feel free to skip a few minutes and fast forward towards the end so you don't miss the effect this had on me :)
I am no video artist. My camera sucks, there is something wrong with the recording every now and then and I don't know how to cut so there is yawning (it was two AM), erms, and comments I would have deleted if I had known how. The good thing: This is as honest as it gets. I like that.
There are countless ways of complimenting yourself. Auto suggestion* and what I did here are just two examples. When I did this for the first time I had been inspired by this amazing initiative:
I am super interested in other ways that I can compliment myself. Still have to figure out how I am going to do it the third time around! Got something for me? Please comment below. Thanks so much! Happy complimenting :)
*Stand in front of the mirror, tell yourself what you need to hear every day and you will start feeling it. For example: You feel weak. So you look yourself in the eye and tell yourself "I am strong." (Or: "It is okay to be weak".) day by day- this has been proven to work.