I recently conducted an exercise where I asked a variety of the people I know what 5 qualities they see in me.
This was an awkward thing to ask. I was more than a little fearful of the outcome (as you may have read in previous blogs, my biggest fear is that of criticism). I was a little nervous that people would think that I was just fishing for compliments, that I just wanted a pat on the back somehow (there's that fear of criticism again). But ultimately the exercise had to be done (my life coach said so, heehee).
I received some overwhelmingly positive responses. I found out that the life that I want to live and the way I want to be perceived by others is actually how I am being perceived and so there is a sense of accomplishment and pride that 10+ people see the same or similar qualities in me. That my choice to be a loving, helpful and approachable person is being observed.
Then this got me thinking about what seems to me to be a phenomenon of sorts.
You know when a loved one has passed and you are in the funeral home welcoming people who want to pay their respects, and every person you greet has a wonderful story about your loved one, their eyes are filled with tears at the memories they shared and you can feel their love and appreciation for knowing your loved one.
Your loved one touched them in a way that not many people could. But did your loved one know it while they were alive? Did they know that they had love and support at every corner? Or did they go through life lonely and depressed?
Most of us don't know how we would even approach someone to share our loving thoughts with them. It's awkward and a little dangerous for the ego, our fear takes over and we begin to think "what if they don't share the same feelings?" "What if it turns into an awkward moment and I look stupid?" Those were the thoughts that ran through my mind when I was asking my friends for feedback.
After receiving the responses. I had a tremendous feeling of relief. Relief in that I know NOW while I'm living the impact I am having on people. I know NOW that I am a pleasant person to be with and that I am appreciated by the people in my life. I know NOW that I have created a legacy that I will one day leave behind. What a gift those people who responded to my request have given to me.
I don't want this blog to be all about me. I really just needed to share the experience with you because it is so important to know NOW what the world thinks of us. Good or no so good, because the good will lift us up and the not so good will carry us to a higher state of learning. The knowledge that we have qualities that are not inspiring to others allows us to make changes. And the knowledge that we are a beacon of light in this sometimes dark world can fill our hearts with even more love and light to be spread to those who are in need.
It is my intention that you read this blog and have the courage to approach 10 of the people in your life and ask them what qualities they see in you. Then I encourage you to write out all of the qualities for yourself, post them in a place where you can easily see them on the days when your "well-being bank account" is low, these comments, the comments of your friends, acquaintances, loved ones and business associates will fill you up with a love so beautiful that you will forget your fears and doubts and you will see only opportunity for goodness in your life and in this world.
Such a simple task, yet such amazing benefits.