When a heavy person walks past us down the street, my husband proudly declares, “I look great for my age.”

And I think to myself, “I need to lose some weight.”

I do what I never want my children to do. I talk to myself with demeaning and hurtful words and have difficulty hearing compliments. My faults and shortcoming are glaringly obvious to me. They blind me from my gifts, talents, and skills and place roadblocks on my life-journey.

When my husband compliments how I look, I hear what he didn’t say. If he says he likes my hair, I think he doesn’t like my dress or make-up.

I recently met with my friend and mentor, Sister Alexa. She told me that she was proud of what I’ve done and what she knows I will do. At the time, I was uncomfortable with the compliment and brushed right on to the next conversation. But now I wish I’d listened better. She explained why she felt that way and I didn’t hear it. I missed valuable information as to how to continue in that direction.

I’m not sure why I am like this. Perhaps it is because my mother rarely complimented me or my siblings. She believed it was boastful and a sin of pride. Or maybe it is just the way I am.

Watching shows like America’s Got Talent we are entertained by the many people who think they have talent and obviously don’t. We see this in our communities as well. There are those who think they are considerably better at something than they are. We know where they should or shouldn’t direct their energy, and we wonder why they don’t.

So how can we recognize and act on our true talents and abilities and steer clear of any delusions? No one truly knows completely who we are but most often, what is cloudy to us is apparent to outsiders. Yet, so much is subjective that even if a dozen people think you should or shouldn’t do something, they may not be correct.

I guess we have to follow our hearts, consult with people we trust, and follow the path of least resistance. If it works, keep going. If not, reassess. And once in a while, it’s OK for us to pat ourselves on the back after hard work and a job well-done.

©Mary K. Doyle

Advertisements