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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Where is the Compliment?
What a wonderful view.
When are we allowed to say good things about ourselves? I think that is a good one to stop and contemplate. I can normally find something good in a situation or with people. I have a positive outlook in general. So I can usually compliment something or someone with ease. And I normally do not stick my foot in my mouth by complimenting a lady by saying “that dress makes you look slim”, did that once and regret it to this day ;-). I am sincere in my compliments. And you know what, I like to give people uplifting comments. I have a gift and I use it. It just is too darn easy to criticize. Don’t get me wrong with my close buddies I love to cut their glory down to size. It has to be 1 part accurate and 2 parts sarcastic. And time tested love makes the comments not hurt but get to the point. Banter is great fun.
Let us get back to saying something good. It really isn’t necessary for “over the counter” encounters. But what the heck I like it. OK it is not all altruistic. I feel good when I compliment a store clerk or attendant of something. I like your haircut; you look sharp today; you have a great attitude; thanks for helping me out; I hope other’s see what a great job you are doing. They smile and I get to feel good – a good deal for both. The other day in the grocery store my wife caught a big error against us and spoke up. The clerk made the error with carelessness. Once pointed out she corrected the error. That was cause in my mind for a compliment. “Wow you sure fixed that fast, you are good”. Drove my wife crazy as she wanted to chastise the incompetence in the first place. My boat don’t sail like that.
And now you have been patient. When are we allowed to say good things about ourselves? Well we answer that straightforward with a question. When do we compliment another? And let us hop to the nitty gritty right away. If you are constantly down on others I will bet you a million that you are constantly getting down on yourself. Am I right? What a deal. Really right there in front of us to see.
Sunrise, just above Sedona
Just my favorite compliment song
We are not one sided one dimensional creatures. Our attitudes shape our existence. Don’t worry I am not getting all metaphysical on you. A cup is just a thing. My favorite coffee cup given to me by my son and declaring that old guys rule is more than a cup. My attitude toward that cup defines its existence to me. Please take a moment to look around you at what things mean to you. Sure the thing can pass but that feeling does not. In certain ways I am just a thing. I think of me as a host for my soul but it is how my soul is seen by others. So it is very important. Do I give a compliment to a stranger and forget to give a compliment to that one person I know best? Do I not owe that to him? Maybe I do not owe it to him. But sometimes I give compliments just because it makes me feel better to lift another up. Good for them and good for me.
“Eric you are looking great today.” Who is that going to hurt? No one. Who is it going to help? Me. Let us just say you are having a bad day. Things just are not fitting into the space where they belong. If you could just go back and start over things could not be worse. Let me let you in on a secret. You can start your day over anytime you like. You just shake all over. Shake your head real fast. Breathe deep ten times saying your favorite thought and the splash water on your face. Then do what you should have done to start your day in the first place. Compliment yourself and put an uplifting smile on your face.
Oh you are too __________ for that? Get rid of that imposter. When are we allowed to say good things about ourselves? Right here, right now I give you permission to treat yourself to a compliment. Just do it. Find you and compliment you. I would if I were there. I would find something to compliment you on. You can do it too.
Somewhere in a desert
You are the best thing
Look for the positive
Now let us get back to that negative stuff. If you can look in the mirror and see only the negative about you, how will that effect how you see others? See the problem? If you do not love yourself how can you spread love to others? Self-esteem is getting cliché. I no longer care for the term though it has its uses. But we do not speak of self-esteem here. We speak of something both more superficial and more deeply intense at the same time. Self-esteem visits the notion of how we see ourselves. Good enough as far as that goes. But really the important part because we are social creatures is a double look. How do we view that others view us. Sure that sounds shallow at first blush and it is. But on double take we can see that we really view ourselves as we perceive how others perceive us. We could go all Zen and discuss how this is wrong. But who cares it is.
When my adult children visit the exterior is completely irrelevant. We double and triple check each other for cracks in our sanity. We need to be critical in the reckoning of how each of us is doing. The compliment comes from us taking the time to get together. Of course we complement each other on the surface but the hug is the greatest compliment of all. The adoration and love goes without saying yet it is said. I look to them and they complement me based on being my children, unconditionally. They look at me and know that I approve and am inspired by their accomplishments and goodness. But by golly jingles we still say it out loud. And we lift each other up.
I happen to be of the mind that you are also worthy of praise. It would seem to me that you are in the best position to compliment yourself. You know you. You know the most important parts on the inside. Now do you plan to go out and do evil in the world today? No of course you do not. Put that in the plus column. Do you plan on going out and doing your worst? No of course not. Can you envision yourself doing something really good today? Add another plus to your calculations.
You see I do not even know you but I can see your base positives. And so I say: My you look positively positive today. You will do well. Would you please say something to yourself today that lifts you up and sends you into the right direction?
Just the peace of mind when we say out loud to ourselves something positive is priceless. But let me beseech you. Don’t just do it for you. Do it for everyone you meet on this fine day. If you are positive about yourself you can extend that out and in some it may make all the difference in their life.