"It's really important to be able to receive love and receive compassion. It is as important as being able to give it."—Pema Chodron
For this past week I've been the recipient of kind words. I have no idea why these words are coming and I feel humbled and a little undeserving, but I'm accepting them.
When someone gives a compliment or thanks us for something, it's easy to say, "Oh, it was nothing!" or "It's not that great."
I don't know what it is about us humans that causes us to downplay compliments and/or thank yous.
Perhaps it's because we don't want to seem too arrogant or too proud.
English is not my husband Yoon's first language and some of his responses to compliments or kind words are often the reverse of what would be an acceptable response from a native speaker here in the States.
When someone gives him a compliment or tells him that they enjoyed his yoga class, he sometimes responds by saying, "I know, it was a great class, right?"
Normally this would sound funny, but when he says it people laugh and find it endearing.
Perhaps we find it challenging in this culture to fully embrace and accept words or acts of kindness. It can be easy to say, "Oh, you shouldn't have!" but why not simply say, "Thank you" or "You're welcome" or "Thanks for your kind words."
At least with these responses, we are fully accepting and acknowledging the kind words or actions of another person and we are allowing ourselves to receive those words and actions as well.
My boss, who has retired now, used to put all her thank you cards and notes on a wall in her office. It was covered with thank yous. I was in awe of her wall and said, "That's amazing." My new boss has a similar wall. She said that when her day is not going well, it helps her to look at the wall and be reminded of the gratitude people have displayed to her. It helps her get through her day.
I now save thank you cards and notes. I think this is such a wonderful idea. Giving thank yous and kind words seems natural, but being able to fully receive them is also a BIG part of this circle of gratitude.
Do you easily accept or receive kind words and actions? How do you respond when someone pays you a compliment?