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"Thank You" Is Only The Begining


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Larry’s been out of school for twenty years. He told me the last class he remembers was his PE class two days before he graduated from high school. You can imagine the adjustment. Larry was struggling with, English 101. Larry had to write composition after composition and it was weighing him down. As Larry told this story, I shared my philosophy of writing. I believe that writing is like any other process in our lives. It requires dedication and practice. I usually write for thirty to forty minutes each day. Some days I just don't feel like writing but I do it anyway. Larry looked at me and said: "Well you are a really good writer."

"Uh-oh," I thought. "Here comes the moment that involves the plastic smile and a modest thank you."

I was quite surprised, however. My reaction was genuine and sincere. I felt very calm, very peaceful, very focused; as if Larry's recognition validated many things I have been working towards. My” thank you” to Larry was a sincere one. I have a hard time accepting sincere and genuine thanks and praise. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I was raised in an environment that taught me to ferret out every bit of good and positive achievement and offer it up for some souls languishing in an alleged place between heaven and hell. Never mind that I was good at what I did, that was not the point. The point was that people who took credit for what they did were guilty of false pride and arrogance. I have to practice what I preach. I have to work very hard to live my mantra: "I am worth all the effort I put into myself." My confident acceptance was a validation of that effort and hard work.

How many of you, feel you’re overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy because of something terrible you did earlier in your life? How many of you feel that no matter how hard you try you are never going to achieve and accomplish the things you really want to because unfortunately, you are just one of those people who's not supposed to get what they deserve? I am not proud of it, but I was one of those people. There was no sense, and there was no use in trying to improve myself because I just had the odds stacked against me. "Pity, party of one, your table is now available."

So often, people would genuinely complement me for something I had done well. My face would flush, my heart would beat rapidly, and I'd find some words to discount or negate the complement. After all, if they only knew all the mistakes I had made my life and all the attempts I had made to reach my goals, only to fail they wouldn't be heeping all this praise on me. That's a tough way to live your life. You work very hard, and truth be told you probably don't fail anymore or any less than any other person; it's just that your successes are so far and few between that you never seem to notice them.

Whether it's health and fitness, whether it's writing, knitting, hitting a golf ball or running a marathon if you don't believe you are worth all the effort you put in to your activity no matter how much you tangibly accomplish deep down inside you will never feel as if you were successful. My” thank you” to Larry yesterday was heartfelt and sincere and just between us friends it felt really good. I enjoy writing and I believe I write well. I am proud of my writing and I enjoy sharing it with other people. My writing in many respects may be considered my way of "paying things forward." There's no arrogance and conceit in what I say. My “thank you” to Larry was simply a beginning. That's where it all starts. I have a choice to build on that strong feeling or to simply replaying my mind repeatedly and let it wither on the vine.

What about you? What do you do well and how long have you kept the wonderful talents and amazing things you have to share a secret? You and I have heard repeatedly that a good house is built on a strong foundation. My health, my fitness, my overall sense of well-being doesn't come from a lot of self-discipline but from the pure, clear fountain deep inside my soul that tells me I'm worth all the effort I put into my success, and so are you. Some days it seems that the harder we work the further behind we get and then we have that moment when a Larry looks across the table and tells us something we know is true.

If I can do one thing really well then there's no limit to the things I can accomplish when I believe I am worth all the effort I put into myself. You see, my "thank you" was really just the beginning.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
INGMARIE 4/28/2012 8:55AM

    And again, emoticon


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TEACHING1ST 4/28/2012 8:48AM

    As always, John, what you say and how you say it hits home. You are a wonderful writer and deserve the credit you get (and the 'poor souls' have basqued in your previous acceptance, too, over the years!!)

Mary

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YASMINCOLEMAN 4/28/2012 8:45AM

    Thank you...a wise, classy and mature sorority sister taught me how to accept a compliment over 20 years ago. Although she transitioned this past March her legacy lives on. Soror Nan this comment is dedicated to you...THANK YOU. I know you're soaring with our Lord and the angels and still telling colorful jokes. Lol. Sorry to digress with my comment but the topic brought back such fond memories of someone I loved dearly. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 4/28/2012 8:40AM

    I have had the same battle with accepting compliments that you describe. Your blog was particularly meaningful to me for that. The funny thing is, though . . . if I hadn't come to close to the same conclusion on my own anyway, your blog would have made me as uncomfortable as an unsolicited compliment.

I guess we just have to learn some things for ourselves. Hopefully, someone earlier in the process of reconciling themselves to accepting praise will read your blog, remember it, and find it useful when they get further down the path.

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HYATTI1 4/28/2012 8:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LANNIEMANUEL 4/28/2012 8:21AM

    thank you for sharing.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/28/2012 8:21AM

    You ARE a good writer and I want to be. Your blog inspires me to want to take the time to write daily as you do.

I used to have a hard time accepting compliments without discrediting them. Like yourself I have come to realize a genuine accolade deserves a hearty "Thank you"!

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ICEHOUSEGUITAR 4/28/2012 8:16AM

    Thank you! emoticon

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REGILIEH 4/28/2012 8:15AM

    As ALWAYS, THANK YOU!!!!!

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TRYINGHARD54 4/28/2012 8:10AM

    isnt it something how were our worse enemies....?

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MIMIDOT 4/28/2012 8:09AM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing. It is so true.

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SPINNER520 4/28/2012 8:03AM

    Your blog really hit home! I haven't been able to accept a compliment for as long as I can remember.

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LEANJEAN6 4/28/2012 8:01AM

    OMG --This is a great blog --and SO so true!! (You are a good writer by the way!)
I too put myself "'down"" because I AM over weight---- older---- not as attractive as I used to be---- I suppose we should dwell on the good--not all this other stuff--I really enjoyed your blog!-Lynda

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GRNBTL 4/28/2012 8:00AM

  Thank you...it's good to be remimded to believe in yourself.

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TIMETOGETGOING 4/28/2012 7:44AM

    Thank you. It is a tough thing for me to get my head around too... that accepting a compliment is the most gracious thing to do in many situations. And that its okay to acknowledge one's strengths and hard work. It is just as you said. Thanks for bringing that forward.

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/28/2012 7:35AM

    You are a wellspring of truths... this is another of them. Thank you for writing about the deep things that make a difference... and yes, you *do* write well. It is no wonder that your blogs are often featured, between those two elements: writing well, and writing about things that truly matter!



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MSLZZY 4/28/2012 7:30AM

    emoticon emoticon

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EXCIRA 4/28/2012 7:28AM

    emoticon

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PENOWOK 4/28/2012 7:15AM

    I also was trained to disbelieve whatever compliment I get...sometimes it's easier to make a joke of whatever someone says to you or simply say, "if you only knew..." But there is a time to take and thank, as you said. Lots of people have complimented my weight loss and all I can say is I'm not yet at goal. I just need to say thank you!

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TRISTAROSE 4/28/2012 7:07AM

    Thanks John .... Great blog!

emoticon emoticon

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FARIS71 4/28/2012 7:03AM

    My gosh that was good. It's so true. Someone complimented my weight loss the other day and it was a full 15 seconds of crud flying around my brain until I finally, simply said "thank you." I have worked hard and it is showing. No need to discount that.

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CAM2438 4/28/2012 6:40AM

    Thank-you so much for your blog. It is something we all need to hear.

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ZURDTA- 4/28/2012 6:26AM

    Thanks for this.

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NASFKAB 4/28/2012 2:45AM

  thanks thought provoking

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GEEMAWEST 4/27/2012 11:46PM

    I don't feel that I am overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy because of something terrible I did earlier in life. However, I do feel that I was raised to believe that I shouldn't get what I deserve. That it was a bad thing for me to be happy with myself and accomplishments.

It's something I'm really working on and have been for a long time. I'm glad that I have you to hang around because you are such an encouragement. You give me the support I need to do the things I need to do. Thank you!



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AVANDREA_ 4/27/2012 11:22PM

    I think that very few people can truly say they feel they are worth every bit of the praise that they get, just ask any artist about their work.... But we can change that thinking, just as you are doing, and come to realize that we are worth every bit of time we are taking to make ourselves healthier, fitter and happier!

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TEXASFILLY 4/27/2012 9:34PM

    Remember this, my friend, "The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph." Never give up! You ARE worthy~ *hugs* BB~

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CARTOONB 4/27/2012 8:53PM

    I am very good at being the kind of person you want to hang around. And you're welcome. emoticon

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DRGNL80 4/27/2012 2:19PM

  Thanks, John - you keep posting what I need to hear!

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VONBLACKBIRD 4/27/2012 2:02PM

    Sometimes we are more critical of ourselves and the things we are good doing. We teand to be harder on ourselves in any achievements we do. We feel unworthy if someone complements our achievements and milestones believing that we don't deserve it. Think it is high time we respect ourselves as we would other people and admire our own achievement and ourselves. Thanks for another good post.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 4/27/2012 12:51PM

    I dread compliments...I'm always waiting for the "BUT, this could improve..." or, "I'd like this and this from you..." or.. "Psych!, fooled you, loser!". I physically hold my breath and wait for the 'other shoe to drop'.
I can see marvellous things in others and love reminding others of that fact, but, for some reason I can't see that others can see wonderful things in me. I get physically ill when complimented. I'm always thinking someone is up to something.
Accepting your worth is paramount in our weight loss journey, but, it hard. So hard.
It's all about choosing our hard.

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ANATASHIKI 4/27/2012 12:31PM

    did you read Lise Bourbeau " Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self"? she has a theory about psychological aspects and physical shapes and behaviors

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BAMAJAM 4/27/2012 12:16PM

  When we put pride and effort into our work, it is very pleasing to hear, "Good job!"--- I was raised without praise, and without words of endearment. It was uncomfortable for me to hear compliments. Now that I have matured, compliments sound nice, and feel nice too. I respond with "Thank you" or "Thank you, how nice of you to tell me." For all the suppressed kids that grew up without self-esteem, I want to put IT in a box, tie a ribbon on it...and say "this is for you!" Thanks, John, for this important blog! BTW, John, I am with Larry, "Well you are a really good writer!"

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DOODIE59 4/27/2012 12:06PM

    A sincere thank you validates not just you but the person giving the compliment as well. They are doing something positive (supporting the other) and you are acknowledging it, with gratitude. Learning to accept positive support is is a very important lesson. I believe it does more than simply keep lines of communication open -- it supports synergy.

Good blog. I think a lot of people with weight/eating issues have support-acceptance issues related to self worth, which go back to childhood and parenting philosophies. There is a confusion about one's rights, worth and values; about the face one presents to the world.

Enjoy your weekend:)
Deirdre

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KMSIMMONS1 4/27/2012 11:30AM

  Well written! I am thankful you share you gift with us. Keep up the good work. I enjoy hearing from you.

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KENDRACARROLL 4/27/2012 11:26AM

    Bravo!
(Now could you please talk to my teenager who's way deep in the dumps and seems to have no self-esteem?...)

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SPARKENISTA 4/27/2012 11:06AM

    John--Being able and willing to accept a sincere complement is an important part of self-growth. There is nothing arrogant about it. Since I have been reading and integrating some of Louise Hay's writing I realize that I accepted what my mother told me (like "self-praise stinks") and swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

Louise has helped me to look at some of my early training with a more mature eye and re-evaluate what I was taught. Of course, arrogance is a terrible trait as well as a total turnoff to everyone around you. However, sincere praise is a wonderful thing. Being able to take it in is a wonderful trait.

I'm just saying....

Have a great weekend!

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