52 Weeks of Happiness: Week Seven
Today, I’m writing about list seven in the 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling for Inspiration, Positivity, Balance, and Joy by Moorea Seal. This week is all about identifying the greatest compliments and encouragement that you’ve ever received. I’m sharing my top 8 here and the one that was most meaningful for me.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to toot our own horn and share things that make us look good. This was a fun little self-love exercise.
52 Weeks of Happiness – Greatest Compliments Received
Some of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received were from colleagues and friends about how inspiring I am. About how great of a leader I am. About how courageous I am for kicking cancer’s butt four times. I’m pretty bad ass.
My kids have told me in various ways that they were so grateful for how I raised them. That is a huge compliment.
One of my dearest friends sent me an email with a list, literally, of 50 things that she loved about me. It was precious. I printed it and I kept it near me so that I could refer to it on bad days. I loved it and encourage you to print anything like this you get from someone.
I had two doctors in particular that really gave me a lot of encouragement and helped me to continue moving forward despite really difficult times. One of my doctors, Dr. Moakaels said that it was our love and support in care giving and how well of a job we were doing with that, that helped my parents to extend their life and live as good of quality of life as possible the last months and years of their life. Then, another doctor of mine who did several of my facial reconstructions after cancer, said that he’d never seen a patient with a power of the mind like mine. He said with everything that I’d been through in life, that he’d never want to go through what I’d been through, but if he had to he would take lessons from me about that. That really meant a lot to me coming from doctors in their fields who, I’m sure, have seen thousands of patients and families over the years.
This is a funny one and if anybody in my family sees this, they might laugh! A couple years ago, My Uncle Riley was visiting. As we were having lunch at Applebee’s, he shared how he had no idea that this scrawny, little, red head kid with freckles was going to be so successful. I was like, oh, okay. I took it as a compliment because he’s hard to please 🙂
When I was going through my fourth (and last) bout of cancer, my son, Steven, was letting his friends know about my impending treatments. In the process of letting his friends know … I had 20 text messages in a 24-hour period from my then high school son’s friends telling me how strong I was, how much they look up to me as a mother, what a great job I’ve done help raising Steven, that I’m strong and courageous, and I’m going to get through cancer. Hearing that from teenagers… from my son’s friends, 20 of them, really melted my heart. I still have these messages.
One time, I had over 50 people comment on my Facebook page with different attributes and things like that that they enjoy or believed about me.
#1 – My absolute greatest words of encouragement
The biggest and greatest compliment and words of encouragement that I have ever received was from my dad. So many of us want our parents, especially our dads, to be proud of us, and to express love towards us. My parents grew up in an age where they didn’t connect emotionally very well. They were people of few words. I was always a daddy’s girl and I always wanted to please my dad. I always wanted to hear the words, “I’m proud of you.”
One of the biggest struggles I hear is that people want acceptance from their father. The father’s role in especially a young girl that in people’s lives, is critical. Unfortunately, my kids didn’t have such a great role model in that regard with their father.
There were two moments in my life where I really felt that my dad was proud of me. I worked my butt off in school and when I graduated with my Master’s degree, we were all gathered after the graduation ceremony. My dad put his arm around me and said, “I’m proud of you. Your mother and I are proud of you.” I knew my dad was proud of me and I knew that he loved me, but he didn’t always say it. That was the first time in 26 years that my dad said he was proud of me. That was a huge moment for me.
The next time my dad said he was proud of me was in his late stage illness…when he was dying. We had been taking care of both my parents, full-time, for two and a half years. I remember him saying, “You know, Tandy, I thank you for taking care of your mother and I.” He continued, “No parent wants to be a burden on their children and I’m sorry that we’ve been a burden and I’m thankful that you’re our daughter that you’ve taken such good care of us.” I told him, “Dad, You’re not a burden. It’s been my honor…the honor of my life, to take care of you and mom.” This family picture below was the last one we took together. This picture was taken Thanksgiving 2011.
He got emotional ( I can count on one hand in my entire life when he did that.) For him to acknowledge me and to say, “Thank you for taking such good care of us”… that meant the world to me. I carry those memories in a special place in my heart.
This week, I encourage you to write out or type out your favorite compliments on a sheet of paper or print them. Last week, when I asked my community what the biggest compliments they’ve ever received, I received a ton of responses. It’s amazing how many awesome qualities everyone has.
Once you have them written out, embrace it, FEEL it, frame it or tape the list somewhere to remind yourself to choose happiness and self-love.
When was the last time you accepted… really received a compliment? Many times, we deflect compliments or otherwise turn the situation away from us. When you can just truly accept compliments and encouragement for what they are, which is a demonstration of love, then you can be comfortable knowing that you’re choosing happiness and self-love.
I’d love to hear your greatest compliments and words of encouragement that have helped you over the years and throughout the course of your life. Which ones have meant the most to you? Please share below!