More than a month ago, I read a post on my friend Patti’s blog where she shared a post from her friend Susie at a blog that’s not blah. It was thought provoking and I’ve been thinking about it since I read it. Susie talked about how she usually let compliments bounce off of her without thinking about them for more than a few minutes, but how good it felt when she decided to marinate in the compliments instead and let herself enjoy the positive feelings. Great post!
I often marinate too, but in negative thoughts and criticism. How does that change me? Marinating meat in a flavorful sauce with vinegar or lemon juice makes the meat tender and soft and better. What would happen if we marinated the meat in bleach? Okay, I don’t know, but if we marinated it in something not meant to be a marinade and is actually harmful, it makes the meat unappealing, damaged and tough. I won’t be actually trying that one with food for an object lesson! Sorry. But people are the same. When we spend too much time thinking about the negative things people say to us, we aren’t happy or fun to be around. Of course we shouldn’t completely ignore criticism since others can see things about us we don’t always see and it may be something we need to change, but once we’ve considered it and either decided to make a change or that it doesn’t deserve attention, we shouldn’t think about it any more.
This weekend I gave this a try. On Friday, someone came by my house and had such nice compliments about my living room. She was in a hurry picking up her daughter who was playing with Sabrina here when she saw the living room from the entry. She asked me if I had studied interior design and told me the colors were great. She even said that she wished she had seen my room before she re-designed hers and that she wanted to come back and tour the house for more ideas. I laughed and those of you who know me are laughing along with me. I am not finished decorating the living room yet. Although I have two other rooms that I have worked on, the rest of my house needs decorating attention. But I decided that instead of dwelling on the fact that I still don’t have a coffee table and the room is so B-A-R-E and not finished, I would marinate in the compliment. It felt pretty good!
The next day, we had friends over for dinner and I received another nice compliment. They asked me if I had studied cooking in school. (Strange that two days in a row people asked me if I had studied things in school, huh?) I could have continued to think about how I had run out of Parmesan so the pasta wasn’t right and that I love to cook and bake (as you know if you’ve read more than two or three of my posts), but I definitely don’t cook anything gourmet or cooking school worthy-- just easy, real home cooking. But I decided to revel in the positive vibes coming my way. In between these two great kudos, I had some negative criticism and I was not feeling good about myself. After this comment on my cooking, I decided to just concentrate on my strengths and the nice words of praise. The negative thoughts kept coming to my mind, but I pushed them out each time with the echoing words from my friends because Wow! I did something good and after all, I AM great and so are YOU! So hopefully you will stop marinating in bleach the way we all so often do and start marinating in some yummy sweet sauce.