“You look 30!” she said, and a certain gladness filled my heart. And almost instantaneously a denial made its way from my mind. But this time, it did not pass my lips. Instead I smiled and thanked her, for the kindness she’d shown and grateful for the uplifting moment.
It is alright to receive praise, even flattery. To allow it to settle with the ego that occasionally needs a boost. It sustains us. It is alright for others to have viewpoints and to express them in the manner they see fit.
A denial would have invalidated them. A denial would have reflected a self that does not appreciate the value of self-love and self-expression.
A denial would mean an alternate narrative having to be created so I ask, of what? What story would a denial of another’s praise serve?
Watch within ourselves what these praises bring forth – confirmation, or compulsion to reject no matter what, or an outright rejection from disbelief. The spectrum of responses gives information of who we believe we are.
And like praises, criticisms also affect the ego. And like praises, allow them to stay long enough for us to interrogate the meanings and emotions that arise, to learn from them and to let them go from the moment. Hurtful comments are only hurtful if we believe them to be true, if we allow them to penetrate the psyche of our being.
Our life is more than the praises and criticisms we encounter. It is more than the opinions of others.
Ultimately what we believe of ourselves is what holds power over our life.
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