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Friday, March 13, 2009

Blessings

I’ve been thinking about blessings lately. How do we bless each other? (I like the Wikipedia definition of blessing – “the infusion of something with holiness, divine will, or one's hopes”.) I think by offering words of encouragement, congratulations, comfort and hope, we offer each other our blessings. Sometimes it’s as simple as “have a nice day” or “hope your trip goes well”.

I’ve been lucky enough to receive a lot of blessings lately, and I definitely feel blessed by it all. Some of those blessings are coming from you, my blog friends (and in-person friends who read this blog). More and more people are learning of my upcoming award and so lots of people are calling or sending notes to say “way to go”, “you’ve done well”, or “you deserve it”. I appreciate and cherish each and every one of these little gifts and I am reminded that I need to make sure that I bless other people as often as I am blessed by them.

But sometimes blessings come with a catch. Sometimes there’s a little baggage attached, or a cryptic underhanded dig, and then the blessing can become null and void. Like, for example, “congratulations, kiddo!” Ummm… kiddo? I’m a 42 year old professional and haven’t been a “kiddo” for many, many years. Even though you’re a few years older and you were at one time my superior, doesn’t mean that I forever remain a “kiddo”. Or “I guess you’ve arrived now” said with a hint of bitterness and disdain. No, I haven’t “arrived”, but by saying so are you implying that this distinction has created a divide between you and me?

There’s also the notable silence from the people whose blessing your inner child craves. The people whose standards you’ve tried to live up to and have felt yourself failing again and again. The people who’ve intimidated you or made you feel insecure. Though you try not to let it happen, sometimes their silence speaks louder than the dozens of encouraging words from the other people in your life.

What kind of blessings have been meaningful to you lately? What kind have fallen short? I want to know, so that I make sure to offer the kind of blessings people will cherish.

In the meantime, I'm riding the wave of your blessings as I prepare my acceptance speech for next week.

7 comments:

mmichele said...

yeah, kiddo, you are one amazing girl.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how the smallest pat on the back can mean so much when it's sincere; who it comes from can make a huge difference, too.

Someone who was actually a tad younger than me used to call me kiddo and I hated it, it was very condescending. I can relate to how that would make you feel, particularly at this momentous time.

I wish I could be at the awards but unfortunately its not going to work out; I'd have loved to hear your speech. I hope it all goes amazingly well.

Kelly

Liz said...

I'm the one who has received silence from the ones I've tried to please most of my life. I have three high achieving siblings while my goal was to raise two awesome girls and work part-time. Meanwhile, all their kids are raised by nannies.

I've learned that I don't need to please anyone. I made my choices and I don't regret any of them. And I don't need praise from anyone to know that my girls are awesome and I done good. It took me a while to get here though.

Karmyn R said...

I don't know if I've gotten much praise over the past month or so - nor have I been giving it out like I should.

but it is true that those people I want the blessings from are hard to crack. While others give it out too insincerely.

kikipotamus said...

To speak to the silence of those whose approbation you crave... I've done much thinking about that this week and finally came to realize some people have a very hard time saying "good job," and it's their issue...in no way reflective of how well I am or am not doing. This insight was very liberating for me.

Anvilcloud said...

Catching up: congratulations and blessings -- again, I think. Good luck on the public speaking which you mentioned somewhere below.

joyce said...

your paragraph on silence spoke volumes to me.

When people tell me that I do a great job by the children that I watch... That means a lot.