Yesterday I was sitting on the train talking Spanglish to an American guy visiting from Colombia. I met him at a 5 rhythms dance class, and after telling me about his interesting life, he commented on my presence in the class, “While everyone was dancing around all crazy, you were moving to your own beat in the corner of the room looking out the window connecting with the sunset.” As I looked into his eyes, I felt that he could see me. He knew more about me than words could say and I began to cry.
I’m not really sure why I was crying. Crying doesn’t mean sadness; it’s an energy release. As those close to me know, I’m a crybaby. I cry tears of joy and happiness quite often. I cry for others. For Chrissakes I’ve cried watching commercials and cartoons. Lately I’ve noticed that I cry when people see me. I cry when I feel a person can genuinely see me— when someone looks into my soul and acknowledges me. I cry because I can feel genuine appreciation for my uniqueness— accepting and loving me unconditionally.
You are powerful.
It’s amazing how powerful we humans. With just our words or actions, we have the power to make or break someone’s day. Indeed we have the power to uplift someone or to crush a heart. We have the power to be indifferent and apathetic too, choosing to refrain from any exchange at all. And this choice of inaction, of giving no energy to a living being can surely cause pain too. Simply by acknowledging and seeing a person, we can brighten a day. How do you choose to use your superpowers?
I subscribe to the kindness movement.
Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Everyone grew up with some kind of struggle. Everyone has reasons to be sad, mad, and angry, AND we can choose to be kind and loving despite all the crap that has jaded us this lifetime— even to complete strangers.
Kindness is contagious. Sprinkling kindness in the form of compliments EVERYWHERE was something I had to start doing consciously. There was a time when I’d notice the beauty of someone’s eyes and I’d keep it to myself. I wasn’t purposely holding back, I just didn’t think saying it made any difference because I figured everyone must have been telling her. But now I say it. I give compliments because I know a woman never gets tired of hearing how beautiful she is. Every time she hears it, it is music to her ears. And I choose to say any other wonderful things that come to mind when I’m with a person. I’m genuine and I use my words wisely, saying only that which is kind and comes from the heart.
When was the last time you wholeheartedly accepted a compliment?
“What this old thing?” “Thanks. You look nice too.” Until recently, I’m not sure if I ever fully received a compliment. I’m not sure at what point in life I subconsciously deemed myself unworthy to receive compliments, but I would constantly give some excuse for my awesomeness instead of saying, “thank you.” Part of self-love is feeling comfortable accepting compliments. Trust me, it was hard at first, but now when someone compliments my lioness head of curls, I look them straight in the eyes and say “THANK YOU,” instead of, “OMG they are so crazy.”
It’s strange that a big part of American and Australia culture is to cut the tall poppies down, aka find something wrong with someone while they are shining their light beautifully and brightly into the world. Tabloids are successful on the basis of starting rumors and making fun of what people are wearing. I get it. When others are doing amazing things it triggers jealously, which simply means there is a quality that person has that we want.
Why not put an end to that silly ego emotion and like the picture on Instagram? Heck, leave a heartfelt compliment. Rising above these emotions and choosing to come from a place of love is healing! This helps us grow! By loving someone else we love ourselves. Give the love that you would like to receive— it comes back to you.
Is self-approval is enough?
Seeking external validation, the approval from friends and family, has become a huge part of our culture with the invention of Facebook. We use Facebook to be seen. Posting our feelings and experiences and seeking validation in the form of likes and comments takes up an enormous amount of energy. Because we are human of course we are affected by the attention—positive, negative, or the lack thereof—we receive from others.
Numerous studies have shown that depression is correlated to the amount of time spent on social media. Why is that? Well, when we seek external validation instead of choosing to love ourselves infinitely we are bound to be disappointed.
When I first began blogging it was scary. I didn’t know what to write, how much to share, and if my readers would like it or not. And then I made the decision to just write from my heart and be true to myself. Those who resonate with what I have to say will find me. And it’s true! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely had haters, which colleagues rest assure means I’m doing something right. And at the same time, I’ve received some really inspiring messages that remind me to keep on being me regardless if I’m aware that people are seeing me or not.
Sure I’d love to achieve Buddha status and not need affection or compliments to feel fulfilled or loved, but for now, I’m still wholeheartedly human. I’ve grown to love myself in such a way that I’m fearless with the way I share myself with others, and I choose to share it all. I’m me. Love me or leave me. And if you see me, you will touch my heart, brighten my day, and I will thank you.