as we think of ourselves


A few years ago, I was starting a new venture in my life, and as I sat with a very close friend talking about it, feeling somewhat discouraged that it wasn’t right, she said, “It’s too small for you Mary.” She went on to tell me, what she thought some of my real talents and abilities were, and I listened to her. I didn’t brush off or dismiss her positive thoughts about me. So many of us have been conditioned to refuse “compliments”;  To see them as empty and valueless, to believe that we shouldn’t listen to them, and this is true about “empty praise”, but I think that the greater danger is in not taking another persons more expansive view of us, to heart.

I have had people say some very nice things about me and thought, “If they only knew me, or if they could see inside my head they wouldn’t think that.” which is really the internal chatter that goes on day and night telling us how sub-par we are, how inadequate. If someone says that I am kind, my mind will throw up examples galore of how I was impatient. There is a part of us that blocks these higher opinions of ourselves from “taking root”.

Our lives and our worlds change for the better when our conception of ourselves changes for the better, but if we won’t “let in” any new information; any new and better view of ourselves, we don’t change. The people in my life that have helped me the most are the ones who have had, and held, the highest and best thoughts about me.

How about making a decision to listen, and pause, and to really take in, the next compliment that you are given. Take a minute to consider it to be true.

As A Man Thinketh,  FORWARD, by James Allen

THIS little volume (the result of meditation and experience) is not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much-written-upon subject of the power of thought. It is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that—  “They themselves are makers of themselves”  by virtue of the thoughts, which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness”.

(this entire little book is available on-line as a free download)

13 thoughts on “as we think of ourselves”

  1. Dear Mary,

    This is excellent advice to start my day. I’m off to my writing group where I’m working on my book about the healing power of the human-canine bond… my first book. I’ve found it an amazing journey to take… extremely enjoyable as I write about my 20 years working with therapy dogs… but along the way, discouraging (the process is long…) – I need uplifting thoughts to buoy me along the way. Thank you…. I will remember your comments when follow writers compliment my work.

  2. And aren’t those people, the ones, that hold the highest and best thoughts of us, also the people that are the ones who enrich our lives just by spending time with them? Funny how that works.

    I just have to comment on your photo – in case my avatar doesn’t give it away, I adore torties (I have two). Eleanor is beautiful!

  3. Good morning and once again, thank you! Negative self chatter is my middle name, but because I have dear, precious friends, I have launched a small Etsy shop and am doing custom art of people’s pets. I just started putting myself out there because I realized this is what I’m wanting to do and my friends would not encourage me if I truly was a terrible artist like my self chatter tells me. I always would find one thing in a painting that I didn’t like and would feel like, “it’s just not good enough, no one would want this”. So, step out of your comfort zone, listen to those who love you, and believe what they say about you. You really are special and can do anything you put your mind to:) Have a blessed day.

  4. Such a touching post today, Mary. It went straight to my heart. I will try very hard to remember it the next time I receive a compliment. Thank you.

  5. A compliment is like a gift, except the present is ribboned in sweet words. How much easier it is really, to simply accept the gift and say thank you! And the giver is blessed in return for having the gift accepted. Will think on that next time someone says something nice and I am tempted to hem and haw about how I could have made it better, or whatever! Eleanor is certainly beaming her beauty out to the flock! What a pretty cat!

  6. Oh my…yes…how many times have I said “oh, thank you..but…” and gone on to make a disclaimer of some sort. Or even laughed when someone complimented me…and said “really”? I was told during a long ago performance review at work that I didn’t know how to accept compliments. That I didn’t realize how good I was…and that that ‘not knowing’ didn’t allow me to reach my full potential or to have the greater impact that this person thought I could have. Your post this morning Mary, put me right back in that long ago office. I think there is a clear distinction between being humble and not having the confidence to soar! They are not mutually exclusive. My spiritual journey is really helping me uncover, acknowledge, and feel the ‘best’ me and to feel good and strong about that. So Mary, I hope you will take a minute and KNOW that your laser like ability to touch us, deeply, every day
    is such a special and rare gift. And so valuable and appreciated. I think the words may sometimes sound gratuitous…and that is not the intent. Sometimes the words are just not enough…much love…

  7. Dear Mary, I don’t know what I would do without your blog! it seems you know exactly what many of us and yourself are feeling and thinking. it truely is so hard to something internalize compliments. if I do than I feel I am being prideful, but if I don’t than I have been shorting myself. I have been blessed by you to remember that God really wants us to have these good thoughts about ourselves. i really do as many women do constantly tear ourselves done with our inner thinking. but until your blog myself and I know my best friend who also reads your blog never put our fingers on this. Thank you so much, for letting so many of us have this amazing gift that was ours all along but not claimed. From a very grateful reader and follow sister in Christ! Joan

  8. Eleanor is a perfect sample of mahogany and teak mixed together. Gorgeous Eleanor!

    Well, I’m sure we’ve all been raised on “Pride goeth before a fall,”…….and therein lies the creation point of our not being able to accept compliments with grace and a simple “Thank you.” I, too, was told some time ago that I did not know how to take a compliment. I would go into total self-denigration mode. And then, one day, a friend said to me, “You may have some internal dialogue that tells you you’re not worthy of this compliment, but the person who is giving it to you does not hear that dialogue. They are telling you about some fine quality you possess, that you have shared and blessed them with. Accept it!” And so I did. It has made all the difference.

    Thank you, Mary, for another great reminder.

  9. Beautiful Eleanor! Receiving a compliment well does take practice and getting out of our own way in terms of negative self chatter. Thank heavens we have you, Mary, helping us along the path of loving oneself and living the lives we desire.

  10. Eleanor is beautiful! To me, it seems like a caption above her head is saying,”Oh,can you just put that camera away?”

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