COMPLIMENTS: Medicine and Magic for the Soul
A Personal Kind of Hug
Compliments are like spoken or written hugs; they make us feel good, they make us feel special. Each of us has at least one segment of our life where compliments are especially appreciated. Being a Mom. Or Dad. Our families. Writing. The value of our work. Our bodies. Fashion. Philosophy. Religion. Home. Living by example.
Compliments, or the lack thereof, came up several times this last week in Coaching Sessions. Although each of my clients has received many compliments in their lives, what they seemed to focus on most were the negative comments, attacks, unfair judgments, dishonest opinions . Sadly, and unconsciously, they too became more fluent in derogatory discourse.
We shifted focus to positive compliments, those previously received. The real ones. The valid ones. Not the insincere or flaky or brown-nose ones. The good juicy ones that had a profound impact on both the giver and receiver; the ones that still put a smile on our faces years later. The ones that still reverberate in the soul.
One that still holds magic for me is, "You have the body of a thoroughbred." I am not a vain person but that short sentence struck a cord somewhere deep inside me. My husband and I were in a friend's hot tub with a group of visitors from abroad. The hot tub, the visitors, the friend, and the husband are long gone, but every now and then when I slip into a bikini I remember those words and smile inside.
"The world would be a better place if more people were like you." (I met someone just like me once and I was bored to tears!)
"You are too gentle to live among wolves." (From Shakespeare)
"You hold this community together."
You have the patience of a saint and the imagination to solve problems like Michelangelo and DiVinci combined.
What you see is what you get; you are the most authentic person I know. (I try)
"You possess a photographic memory." (Nice thought, but no)
"In my next life, I am going to be your dog. You treat all your rescued animals better than most people treat their children." (That is true)
Your home is like a museum where anyone would still be comfortable putting their feet up on the coffee table.
Categories of Compliments
As I was writing this piece I realized many of my compliments fell into the categories that mean the most to me: Spiritual practice. My nature and personal philosophy.
"You are a Bodhisattva Warrior."
"The Angel Brigade would be pleased to have you lead them."
"Among the Light Workers, you are the most radiant."
"You have one foot firmly grounded and one foot dancing in heaven just like an Earth Angel."
"May I call you Reverend Grace?"
"When I think of love, I hear your name, I see your face."
"Meditation and sanity become you."
"You have wisdom beyond your years." (I was 18)
"Will you head our conglomerate?" (I was 19)
"Will you run the family empire?" (I was 28)
"Thank you for being an independent thinker that cannot be bought or easily mislead." (I was 30)
"You are everything a woman is meant to be." (I was 35)
"You saved my life, and the life of my entire family, with your Life Skills Coaching." (I was 48)
"I have never met anyone who thinks like you." (All my life)
Nicknames as compliments:
Nicknames can be a form of compliment. When I was a little girl my daddy called me "Chocolate Kisses." Or he did until my mother put on fifty pounds and it wasn‘t so cute anymore. Lovers often give us unique nicknames as a sign of affection. Friends have called me Earth Angel, Golden One and White Bird for years.
Even negative sounding nicknames can be backhanded compliments. My favorites: Ice Maiden (because I never slept with my clients) Dragon Lady (because the words I spoke could both warm and burn) and Fang (because I wouldn't give up once I had my teeth in a project).
The BEST compliments I ever received:
The most magical and medicinal compliments that still have the power to raise my soul no matter how depleted I may feel:
"If I die I want you to marry my beloved soul mate and raise my precious children."
"I would lay down my life to save yours so the world may know your heart a bit longer."
Each was said by unrelated people on several occasions. Both still take my breath away.
Give AND Receive Generously
Be generous and genuine with the compliments you pay to others. Give them often. Appreciation is a miraculous tonic for the person who sips of them AND the person who pours them generously. The compliments you give today may still be magic and medicine in the heart of someone who draws on them years from now.
Even a bit big-headed
By the end of the week my clients had compiled their lists. I had compiled mine. I must say, we ALL felt a lot better about ourselves! (Even a bit big-headed!) Give it a try! It's a lovely thing to review on a gray day!
Received or given, what was your most meaningful compliment??
I would love to hear about the compliments you have given and have received! If you like Hubs with a positive note, please consider a "thumbs up" and a comment below! Blessings Always, Earth Angel!