In response to yesterday’s reflection on Week 2 Acts of Grace where I remembered I forgot to remember to give gifts of words often enough during the week, Mark Kolke of Musing’s and other writings, shared a video of a speech on validation by Lance Miller.
Lance’s speech was brilliant enough to garner him 1st place in an International Toastmasters competition.
In his speech about learning the value of validating other people, Lance says, “I began to find something I could stamp on everybody I met. That little bit of goodness. That little bit of brightness.” As in, I looked for something positive in each person I met, and then I told them what I saw.
Imagine if, we all went through the world searching for the positive in each person we met.
Imagine if, we told them what it was we saw that made such a difference in our eyes.
Imagine if, we did the same for ourselves.
You tell yourself the positive things you heard about yourself throughout the day — instead of the negative.
Last week, I received lots of positive feedback and while I won’t share my list I encourage you to make one for yourself.
I will share what my beloved said that still resonates in my heart and soul. We were talking about being real. I commented on how sad it is that we feel the need to adjust ourselves and sometimes shift who we are to ‘fit in’ to the world and different situations.
“You don’t change who you are to fit in with people or situations,” he said. “You are always true to who you are.”
My soul danced. My spirits lifted. My heart swelled up in love and joy.
All of these are the lifeblood of living passionately in the moment of now.
I am blessed.
Imagine instead though if I had stayed stuck on something that didn’t feed my soul, didn’t lift my spirits or fill my heart with love and joy.
Imagine if I’d held onto that feeling of having ‘missed the boat’ when I realized I’d forgotten to put the laundry in the dryer — and it now reeked of 3 day old dampness?
Imagine if I’d held onto that feeling of being ‘stupid beyond words’ when I took Beaumont for his walk one night and forgot to roll up his onesie so he could pee without getting it wet? (He’s wearing a onesie because he had the big ‘snip-snip’ operation last week and he’s not supposed to lick the incision.)
Or forgetting someone dear to me’s birthday? (which as I type that line I wonder about the accuracy of that phase ‘dear to me’s birthday’ and remember — it is someone very dear to me’s birthday today!
Imagine the self-talk that could ensue from all of that. I could be black and blue with words of condemnation!
It’s important to learn from our mistakes. It is also equally important to not get stuck in the negative self-talk our mistakes sometimes evoke. It’s important to not keep repeating the ‘you are so stupid’ or the ‘what a loser’ messages. We become what we tell ourselves and telling ourselves over and over again about our faults, creates the loss of our true selves.
Mistakes are opportunities to be reminded to pay attention. To listen up. To step into the moment. They are not meant to be opportunities for self-flagellation.
So, if you have trouble giving yourself positive self-talk, begin with validating others. Begin with telling those you meet about the wonderful things you see in them, and know — you cannot see it in another if you don’t have it in you.
It takes one to know one.
It takes awareness of the value of what you appreciate, to know the value of what you appreciate.
I appreciated C.C.’s comment so much because within me is the desire to know I am always walking true to who I am.
That desire lives within him too. Otherwise, he wouldn’t appreciate it in me.
As Lance Miller says in his speech, “A common denominator of all humanity is the fact that we are human. We are by nature imperfect. It takes no special talent to find an imperfection in another person. But every person goes through life wanting to be right, wanting to be valuable. Find that. Bring it out in them.”
Let’s bring it out in ourselves too.
And this short 16 minute film is one of my all time favourites. It may have also inspired Lance Miller. I’m hoping so because he inspired me, as did Mark.