Y’all had an assignment last week. Remember what it was?
Hint: a list…things your most beloved ones did right…no looking for the negative?!?
Raise your hand if you completed your assignment.
All you slackers move to the front row where I can keep an eye on you. The rest of you? GOOD JOB. Some of you even took it a step further and applied the concept to treating yourself with more love and kindness, looking for the things you did right. Yah, mon. Now, let’s build on the great work you did.
Looking for the best in others is like pushing a RESET button in our opinion of them. It causes us to view them and think of them differently. That’s excellent, and it is half the work. The hard half. Now for the easy stuff.
Your next job is to harness the power of your thoughts in re-framing how your beloveds think of themselves. How? By telling them and anyone else that will listen, over and over, about all the wonderfulness that is them. Email it, put it in a PowerPoint, say it, sing it, post it as your Facebook status, blog it like Maytina (read it here), tweet it, do it however you want, but just do it, like Nike.
You create the greatest forward momentum with the focus on the positive. Still, we all know the flip side, the danger of creating the negative by speaking it. Parents that minimize their children. Marriages that crumble from the lack of “respect” or too much “nagging”. Personally, painfully, I can tell you that my awesome relationship with my husband goes through “normal” dips, and that those dips are usually tied directly to one or the other of us becoming too vocal in our criticism of the other, however minor or small our complaints, resulting in the criticized one losing faith that he is a hero in my eyes. And, yeah, I do it more often than he does. Pamela, practice what you preach.
The greatest strength, though, is in striving for the positive, not avoiding the negative. So we shan’t talk about that negative stuff anymore. Let’s turn our bright and shiny eyes toward the goal: praising.
Rhonda Erb told me she had sent her husband a number of cards and funny lists of things she loved about him over the years. She found all of them, saved carefully and bound by a rubber band, in her husband’s closet. Now why in the world would he save them? Aren’t we just supposed to know how someone feels about us once they tell us, remember it, and move on like a mature adult with this certainty intact, instead of demanding constant reassurance like a needy child?
Yeah, right. Every one of us — EVERY.ONE.OF.US. — has a needy child in there somewhere. Love means (amongst many other things) taking care of those needs in others.
Last week Heidi Dorey shared that her husband Kim had a birthday coming up. She wrote her list of everything he did right, and she gave it to him for his birthday. How do you think he felt?
About 10 FEET TALL. Like a HERO in Heidi’s eyes. Don’t believe me? Read her story for yourself.
How do you think this impacted their relationship? What would you expect he felt toward her, and how do you think he would act toward her in the wake of this praise?
No, no. I don’t expect you to answer aloud. And I’m not even going to spell it out for you. Just ponder it for a second.
Would you like to make someone feel that way about him/herself and toward you?
If you’ve read this far, I know you would.
So, that’s your assignment. Make someone else into your hero. Big ’em up so much that their little hearts burst like Roman candles. Heck, do it for several people. Don’t stop until you’re completely out of breath. It’s like working out — push yourself, and next time it will be easier and you can lift more and run farther.
You’ll thank me for the “exercise” later. I promise.
p.s. Once again, thanks to Nan of Little Black Dress Diaries for inspiring this line of posts with her incredible positivity and wonderful email exchanges.