As a recovering perfectionist I learned how to receive compliments and let go of doubt, low self-esteem and the constant need to be perfect in just a moment.
I was attending a Gurdjieff (Spiritual) School in the early 1980s. We were organized into groups for the first semester based on type. I was in a group of individualists who were creative, inventive loners, not playing well with others and had a cynical / angry / awkward edge to each of us. Our team / cooperation skills weren’t very good and so we were assigned to repair a truck gather wood while other groups worked on construction projects – finishing a greenhouse and building a loafing shed, and working on building a house. Our lack of teamwork and inexperience became evident when cooking a dinner. Our first dinner cooked by the ten of us for ourselves and 30 other students was a disaster. The appointed manager didn’t know what he was doing. But we improved.
After Thanksgiving I was manager for a meal. A woman from a group that made the best dinners approached me just before an evening class and congratulated me on doing a good job. I started to say that it could have been better (or perfect). Her reaction to my self deprecation was disappointment. In that moment I felt her praise, took it into my heart, looked her in the eyes and said:
I saw that she was warmed by my acceptance of her compliment. This demonstrated an important principle of energy exchange.
It demonstrated a cycle of giving and receiving. When we work to accept a compliment in a heartfelt way we allow ourselves to receive a gift from another. When we say: “Thank-you” and look the person giving the compliment in the eyes we honor that person and acknowledge their gift with tender loving kindness. They gave us a compliment from a place of love and we have returned that compliment in kind. Giving and receiving is not a closed loop, it opens and allows energy to build.
The logical end of giving and receiving is a new economy based on community, cooperation where all are included…