Inability to accept compliments.
Growing up, I never knew how to accept compliments. Over the years, I have become a lot better, because at least I’m able to smile and say thank you after someone notices something about me which stands out to them. As a child, I grew up surrounded by beautiful cousins, we were called the three musketeers - you wouldn’t dream of seeing one without the other two. I think in families people can’t help but compare and so as we began to come of age, compliments would be attributed to my cousins. I mean they are gorgeous (and they still very much are!!), and no compliments aren’t about looks – but in my case, I can say my inability to accept them started within myself. It started with a perception I already had of myself. It had nothing to do with my cousins it’s not their fault I felt the way I did. It also had nothing to do with the people giving out compliments. But it did have everything to do with me.
See, a compliment is described as a polite expression of praise or admiration. But seriously, how can we accept another’s praise or admiration – when we don’t even praise or admire ourselves? For years, I couldn’t say something good about myself, so honestly why would I believe someone else who wants to say something good about me?
But you know, I thank God - I am no longer that girl with those thoughts. I no longer compare and contrast, I stand in my uniqueness, admire the work that God has done and stand tall in whom I’m meant to be. Regardless of my size, hair type, skin colour, gender or anything else society wants to mock me for. But this change never came over night. It’s a journey, one with many valleys.
I will never forget my turning point, I was at my women’s bible study group and we were asked to write 50 things that we liked about ourselves onto this sheet of paper. Wanna know what I did? I went and hid in the church kitchen, crying because I had no idea what to write! (I am serious btw.)
50 THINGS!? I mean, at that time, I could only have thought of 3 things and I guarantee you they would have been super mundane and really something that anyone would say. Like, “I like my eyes.” or “I like my finger when painted.” See, how I struggled?
But let me tell you this, my mentor and friend who was leading the bible study came and found me, and instead of telling me you don’t have to write the list, she told me to take the week, and bring it back the next week. FILLED IN. Now, for some of us, tough love might not be your thing. But for me it was exactly what I needed to happen. It was the stepping stone to becoming a whole new me.
I will confess that I wrote 50 things down. I will confess that it was probably really hard for me to do so. But I will also confess that for that particular week, I noticed things about myself that I never paid attention too because I was trying so hard not to look. I will confess that this task, meant I had to open my eyes, I had to search and see Nikkita. I had to see myself. I had to learn how to love myself, for myself.
I want to pause for a minute, and speak to the girl who walks with her head low, the girl who never catches the gaze of someone else because she’s afraid of what they might see. Well, I see you. I see you, ashamed of who you are, running from the mirror so your refkection doesn’t speak back to you. I see you because you are worthy to be seen. And I want to journey you.
So friend, I have a challenge for us. I want us to write 30 things we love about ourselves. 30 things that God didn’t get wrong. And He gets nothing wrong, so there will be plenty to choose from. I know that this is the hardest thing you could possibly do in this moment but it will transform you.
I pray for a transformation to take place within you, one that covers you with the love and joy of God. A transformation that will see you catching the gaze of someone else, holding your head high and letting the mirror reflect all that it wants too. I pray for a transformation, where you see you like God sees you. Amen.