“If you do not believe that you deserve good, good may elude you.” – Joy Iseki
In my last blog, I shared how it was important that we accept our shadow self, without feeling the need to hide it from who we are. Please read it here.
Some issues were raised from that discourse. Part of it was how some people can have similar issues accepting praises about their works, or their good self.
Yeah, it is true that there are some people who make deliberate efforts at covering up their goodness, or any praises from their good acts, in similar ways some would hide their shadow self. For this category of people, this habit may have been birthed through some doctrinal teachings about how it is not good for the left hand to see whatever the right hand was giving out.
One thing that is common in being human is the way we can sometimes lose the context of thoughts that have been passed on from one generation to another after many years.
Personally, I think those words concerns motive behind one’s arms giving in the first place. You and I know that nothing given by the left hand which the right hand would not be aware of. The idea behind those words were for guide against showmanship in giving.
If we are created like God, and God dwells in the habitation of praises, then pretending that we do not need praises for our good works is contradictory. Don’t you think so?
That said, one must never over promise on one’s credibility though, or allow the praises from people to affect one’s works, either. However, your good should not be intentionally obscured just because you do not want to appear like one blowing his own horn.
I was in a gathering few days ago, where a young man shared with us a personal story. According to him, when he was a school teacher, a student once walked up to him to say how much he admired him and wished to be like him. This young man confessed to feeling proud of himself at that moment. His authentic confession about this was well received in that gathering. That, to me, isn’t blowing one’s horn. It is appreciating a good feedback!
If he had said, “oh, please don’t copy me at all, I am no good example to you, I am just a man,” with seemingly humble pretense, he would have been a liar, because within himself, he was very aware of how good the comment from the chap made him feel.
If we have agreed that it is necessary we accept our shadow self, then it will be a disservice imbibing an otherwise culture against our good self. Both must be taken into cognizance.
How do I mean?
When you know that you are good at something, and someone commends your expertise on it, never shy away with the excuse of being humble. No, that’s not humility. It is stupidity to deny yourself any deserved accolades for what you have so worked hard for, unless you are not confident about who you are. If others around you think acknowledging your skill is being proud, then they are most likely not good at it, and may be showing such attitude out of jealousy, or they lack confidence in their own abilities. Or just lacking knowledge on how to handle praises for a work well done! I’ve experienced this later part and have watched many falter here too. Reason, I’m writing this piece.
When you are commended for your good works, please don’t make the situation look awkward with a long expository response about how it was a gift from God, blah, blah. Just accept it with a ‘thank you!’
We are humans. We should never make cases against our humanity. For any good thing you have so worked hard to become, you should not be shy about the praises it may attract. Because good isn’t something cheaply bestowed on us, but seriously worked for before it can become beautifully appreciated. Even the most gifted singer, though blessed with a naturally good voice, must need train to become better at delivery. Rarely anything in its natural state is worth much, if it does not go through some refining process. Check natural resources, even.
Denying yourself the luxury of the heart’s intercourse with the derived pleasure from the praises arising from such tough process you might have gone through to have such goodness evident in your works, looks, marriage, intelligence, character or whatever be the case, isn’t a very noble trait, dear one.
Neither the one who is suppressing his dark side nor the other doing same about his good self is helpful to us. Both must acknowledge that these things exists, and should be embraced, either way.
Accepting the accolades you so well deserve for your goodness can serve as an encouragement to your soul by boosting your morale and the energy level to be MORE next time. This can be one of the things that spur us on with much enthusiasm to face the next challenge life brings at us.
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To your successfully evolving life.