For me, it might be more like two days. ;-)
But the point remains that when someone gives you a sincere compliment, it means a lot. Words are such powerful little bullets, penetrating the heart's of others and sometimes being lodged there for years to come.
I can remember both uplifting and negative things that people have said to me in my lifetime, some of them literally being 10 or 15 years ago. In fact, sometimes the negative sticks even longer than the positive.
I still remember being told that I walk funny -- way back when I was a teenager. Since I was already self conscious about this, someone else mentioning it only confirmed what I already thought I knew to be true.
The same goes for a comment someone made to me within the last year or so about how I am a person who just likes attention and that I'll take negative attention over no attention at all. While I don't believe this to be completely true, there is enough of doubt in my mind about myself in regards to this that I still wonder if this might be true of me.
I've also noticed that when I truly believe something good about myself and it rings true with who I believe that I am, I can easily accept a compliment about myself in that area. Lately someone told me that they feel I am a very genuine person and I just said "Thank you" and felt grateful for the compliment. The thing is...I already believe this about myself. I know I am a genuine person. It resonates with me that someone would recognize this about me. Along those same lines, if someone told me that I was disingenuine, I would brush it aside. Because I believe in myself when it comes to this character trait. Those negative words would have no power over me.
But if someone tells me I am beautiful or that I seem very even keeled emotionally, I would have a hard time accepting that compliment because I don't really believe it about myself.
I am starting to see that the MOST important thing is not what anyone else perceives me as being or not being. The most important thing is what I believe is true about myself. For me, that truth comes from a power and a being higher than myself. Who does HE say that I am? How does HE see me? And what choices am I making that align myself with that person that I already am?
Words are powerful. For sure. As humans, I think we need to recognize this and be much more careful with our words and use them as weapons of kindness and love and peace instead of daggers of fear and jealousy and pride.
But more than anything, we need to know who we are despite what anyone else thinks of us...whether negative or positive.
That is where the real power lies. So that when you hear that positive affirmation or that negative comment, you just check in with yourself and what you know to be true about yourself and YOU choose whether or not to give those words power in your life.
Probably the most difficult part of this is making choices that back up the person that you know that you are while knowing how much you still struggle to be that person and how often you mess up.
Grace. Grace. Grace.
For yourself in your journey and for other's in theirs. And then let your words be something that encourages someone else to see who they really are and lifts them up closer to being that person.