Believe Those Honeyed Words

I do not know how to take a compliment.

Of all the wonderful things that are said to me on a daily basis — through fan mail, through passersby admirations, through flattering remarks my husband whispers in our bedroom — I don’t truly believe them. It’s as though a part of me is not able to fully comprehend the concept of those kind words. Positive declarations, it seems, are not completely absorbed into my brain; the moment they escape the mouths of sweet citizens of humanity they become lost in translation, their gorgeous syllables diminished to meaningless utterings.

Yet… when it comes to criticism, I practically swallow those statements whole, thoroughly believing & latching onto the idea that I am not worthy. Insults are accepted into my subconscious without hesitation. I completely trust in those words, which further reinforces my deepest insecurities.

I do not know how take a compliment, but when it comes to disparagement I am a seasoned receiver.

I want to change this.

Not just because it would benefit my spirit to accept such flattery shamelessly, but because those sweet regards deserve to be devoured & indulged in. “You are beautiful” & “I love your work” are worthy of more than being sentenced to float aimlessly above my head like wreckage in space.

There is a part of us that is rather convinced that we don’t really deserve to receive compliments; that perhaps we haven’t earned them. Accepting compliments when we truly don’t believe them can be quite perplexing, as well. Sweet comments are often heard but not entirely listened to.

Contrary to our treacherous beliefs, we deserve every single compliment we receive, no matter what we’re feeling at that moment or if there is evidence contradicting that statement. And not only do we deserve compliments, but we have indeed earned the right to unreservedly, unabashedly accept them; to ravage them with fervor, to trust them with every molecule of our being.

Compliments have the ability to shift our entire day if we let it.

How often do you let it?

There is no earth shattering advice I can give to help one fully receive & believe a beautiful compliment. Really, it’s as simple as stopping, listening, absorbing, & enveloping your entire self with the affection of those words. When someone pays you a marvelous compliment, don’t just hear it: listen with ears & heart open. Soak in it.

Even if it’s uncomfortable, even if you find yourself stifled by surprise & the awkwardness it produces… just stop, focus on your breath, & stay in the present moment. Let the compliment permeate throughout your body. Allow yourself to enjoy how good it feels to receive such kindness. Whatever comes from it — a simple thank you, blushing cheeks, a bashful giggle — let it develop about naturally. Don’t force a reaction.

Build up a tolerance for sincere, honeyed words. Bathe in their afterglow. Devour them with passion.

And practice.

Here’s a stream of unadulterated compliments I want to give to you today:

You are stunning. You are remarkable. You are voluptuous, sensual, & devastatingly attractive.

You are precious. You are brilliant. You are beautifully expressive & perpetually graceful.

You house an extraordinary kind of spirit that radiates others the moment you walk into a room. Your smile is contagious.

How did that feel?

If it didn’t quite penetrate your immediate consciousness, read it again. If you do it right, what you will feel afterward is the way receiving a compliment is supposed to feel: Exquisite. Glorious. Pure divinity.

© 2018 Ev'Yan Whitney. All rights reserved.