I suppose my husband is used to me telling stories about him by now. He’s a good sport. He is a broadly accomplished man. In other times he would have been called a renaissance man. A fine artist who makes an art of repairing an engine. Understanding the weather. Recognizing birds from great distances. Oh. But I digress. It’s sufficient to say he’s skilled at hosts of things and levels. Yet his life experience has not served up validation for this knowledge. His experience has been one of contradiction and doubt. Teasingly we suggest that he may have been raised by wolves. The tone is his home was one of criticism rather than celebration. So he’s been schooled to “stick up for himself.”
This very day I said to him, “You are so accomplished. Thank you for all the ways you make our home better.” His response sounded like he was arguing with me. “I DO make our home better.” We’ve talked about the fact that he has had to provide affirmation of his own skills throughout most of his life. At a cellular level he may be more prepared for criticism than praise.
Today, understanding that, I just took advantage of an editing trick. I asked, “Could we go back and just re-write that exchange? I’d like to see how you feel simply looking at me, seeing my love and saying out loud, ‘Thank you very much.’ ” We did.
The smile lingered on both our faces for quite a few minutes.
When you receive a compliment today…pause and make sure you aren’t getting ready to argue with the person giving it. Practice. Just say, “thank you.” It sweetens the moment for everyone.
I’ll be the first to admit that there were a lot of actions that Goldilocks chose that I can’t stand to defend. But I DID learn a lot from Goldilocks about discernment and balance. She was not a girl that consistently said, “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” The girl had a vision for what was “just right.”
And she stuck with it.
A valuable lesson I take away from the famous story of Goldilocks is that it really is up to me to let people know when something is “too” much. “Too hot,” or “too cold.” The trick is discerning when such vision actually matters. There are times in life when it really is the right thing to do – to simply let something go. And yet, there are other times when standing up for our vision and sense of balance is absolutely imperative. Discernment and balance. THANKS, Goldilocks.
…you hold the hand of the world.” That’s from LIVE WITH INTENTION. Appreciating my friends is one of my ten main life intentions. Recently I read that Sophie Tucker, the singer from the early 20th century who was called “The Last of the Red Hot Mama’s” said, “The secret to success in show business is knowing how to make and keep friends.”
I found myself responding to Sophie with, “That’s the secret to almost everything, not just show business.” So much of today’s conventional wisdom on success in business, of any sort, is that it begins with solid relationships. The truth of country music chimes in here with, “If you ain’t got friends, you ain’t got nuthin’.”
Observing my Dad’s last days of life, in the time he was able to speak, was a testament to the validity of this observation. He died, with only me at his side. He had not tended the garden of his friends. It is the only thing that he expressed any regret over. I endeavor to do one kind thing, one demonstration of remembering and appreciation for one of my friends, every day. No matter how busy I am or what I am doing. I know that at the end of the matter – it will not be the completed project I cherish…but the hand of a friend that I am holding.