At what point in one’s life, does one start to weight the good more than the bad?
Why is it that at least one in three childhood memories that stick with us consist of being reprimanded for doing something wrong, being embarrassed about something or having negative things spoken over us in general?
Why, even now as grown ups, we brush off compliments so easily, but negative things said about us, or worse -to us- remain engraved in the back of our heads, no matter how much we try not to care and how badly we want to strip them of the power to affect us.
But they still do. And while not all of them have the power to bring us down, they remain there, a consistent whisper that we are not good enough and a pestering doubt that not even on our best days are we completely worthy.
When will we stop believing such lies? I ask. And when will we admit that yes, we are flawed, we may even be broken, but we are complete, we are restored, we are enough.
I decided long ago not to take for granted the words of kindness spoken over me. I decided to value declarations of love and cherish those who encourage me, even in the smallest ways.
So I started writing down everything that made my heart flutter with joy, every compliment that reminded me of how I am seen by others, and how to them I am enough and I am precious, and beautiful and intelligent and intriguing and I am above all valued. And maybe some day I will end up believing it. Because for now I still cringe at the idea of calling myself all that.
And while this might seem like the most conceded post I’ve ever written, and I do admit the existence of selfish reasons behind writing it (such as reading it when I feel low, and see my reflection in other people’s eyes for a change in perspective) , I hope there is something for you in this.
Maybe courage to see yourself for who you really are. Maybe the power to dare to accept compliments with your head held high. Or even the atrocity of starting to value and perhaps write down the positive and encouraging words spoken over you.
Such words have been said to me and I refused to let them fade away. From my mother, to my many siblings, to my nephews, to my best friends and classmates or teachers, from exes to current boyfriends, to acquaintances and strangers I only met online and to what God has to say about me (yes, there are a few Bible verses included), this is what the world seems to think about me:
(And no, I won’t mention who said what, because I’d like to give the people the anonymity of their lovely compliments. Besides, who am I to suck the mystery out of what could be a very fun but ambiguous post to read. Enjoy! )
Mirrors suck! You have an awesome soul and you’re smart and funny. F**k what they say!
Something is wrong with you. In a good way!
I think you are someone that matters.
You break stereotypes.
You’re full of mystery.
When you will understand how beautiful you are, how smart, and when you will realise how much value you bring to others, the President will be the one coming to meet you. And you will give him that look, because you know who you are, what you can, and actually, he’d be lucky to meet you and not the other way around.
You have not a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind.
You are so full of joy. So beautiful. So smart. So sweet. So caring. You know how to be quiet. You know how to be crazy. You are both what I want and what I need.
You are way cooler than I expected.
I won’t forget you that easily.
I like the fact that you seem to be one of the few people who can give me a worthy comeback.
You amaze me.
I think very highly of you.
I need to hear some more of your funny little jokes and thoughts and then everything will be wonderful.
You’re ridiculously amusing.
You little miracle.
Oh, you are a little bit magical I think. (one of my personal favourites)
It took a deep look to find a woman who is enthusiastic about life. But she is there.
You cannot be spared from My love.
You are complete.
I am not one to normally preach or teach about self love. But I think we need to give ourselves permission, at least once in a while, to cherish who we are, because at the end of the day we can only love others as much as we can love ourselves.
To the people who have found their words higher, to those of you who have encouraged me in ways that are too personal to share on here, and to the rest of my friends and acquaintances that have spoken love over me even in the smallest ways, know how much you mean to me.
Know that your words of kindness do not go unnoticed, and your hugs are not soon forgotten. Know that I appreciate my place in your life, even if maybe today you don’t feel the same about me.
And to all of you, random beautiful strangers, that have stumble upon this accidentally, know that there is somewhere out there that still smiles at that compliment you made in a rush 3 years ago. And maybe today you’ll go out of your way to let someone else know how you feel about them.
Because love never goes unnoticed.
Someone who needed to be reminded that she is loved.