Can You Receive a Compliment?


Since it’s Thanksgiving here in the States tomorrow, I just want to express my gratitude for my wonderful readers and comment-ers, Creative Breakthroughs class participants and 20 Minute Club members. Thank you, thank you!

You have no idea how much I appreciate your thoughts and reflections and willingness to play and try.

And I’d also like to suggest, as you express your own thanks for what you’re grateful for this long, feast-filled weekend, to include yourself in your gratitude list.

Because as I’ve helped aging family members transition through difficult changes this year–where simple things have now become hard–I’ve come to realize. like never before, the importance of truly taking the time to be thankful for your own gifts and abilities in the fullness and strength of your life as it is right now.

So yes, be thankful for your life and your family and your security and your friends. Be grateful for all that is around you.

But please also take a moment or two to honestly stop and let your own gifts and talents deeply sink in to your awareness–your hands that make things, your eye for color, your joy in creating, your ability to make someone laugh when they’re crying, your good listening skills, your punctuality, your willingness to do something hard–each and every one, whatever they are.

And don’t just honor your gifts, relish them. Treasure them. But most of all–ENJOY them.

Your gifts are a huge part of how you experience the world as well as why the world needs you–and isn’t that nothing less than fantastic?

Embrace your gifts.

They’re as much who you are as your limitations–so give them their equal due.

This might be kind of hard, (believe me, I know) but it’s important enough to practice. So please, practice.

One way to practice is to try not to wave off a compliment the next time one surprises you–this is hard for me too–I actually get a little nervous when I get a compliment and try to hurry past the wonderful words, even as I love to hear them.

But these past several months have taught me that this is a mistake and reveals how I’m carrying on an unspoken family tradition–being uncomfortable with honoring my gifts.

Life flies by, and it’s simply not right to get to the last years of your life never having properly honored and enjoyed your gifts, talents and abilities. They’re yours–they are you.

So this Thanksgiving, please take some time-to be thankful for yourself and all that you bring to this world as well as for the abundance of family and friends, nature and God.

And then, have a second helping of pie.

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  1. Eileen says:

    Thank you Sarah that was beautiful and so true!

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks Eileen!

  3. Carol J. says:

    Hi Sarah. I need to tell you that each and every post you write touches me…it’s as if they are written from what’s inside my own head! Thank you, thank you. You are most definitely blessed with wisdom, insight, and eloquence with words.

    And I will have that extra piece of pie! :) Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

  4. Somewhere in my aging process, I have finally learned to say “Well, thank you!” when I get a compliment on my work. And it usually leads to a conversation, and sometimes to insight from what someone else sees.
    So just say “Thanks!” with a smile, and watch what happens! ;-)


  5. Sarah says:

    Oh Carol–thank you so much! And yay for more pie!

  6. Sherry says:

    Sarah, I love this! I, too, get embarrassed when people pay me compliments, but I remember how my Grandma used to always say that it was more blessed to give than to receive, and my Mom would say, well someone has to receive if we are to give. It is a wonderful thing to be thankful for our own gifts!
    Have a great week!

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