Because I just can’t hold it in

When I see someone do well, in any capacity, I want nothing more than to celebrate. Toss a fistfull of ‘fetti in the air above her head and grab that megaphone of mine.

[tap] Ahem. Excuse me?

I need to take a moment to positively shovel praise all over you.

Me 5.17.11 023

I can see why some tend to think of praise in the same way they might consider their bank account- a constant transaction of spending and saving. Receiving compliments builds you up, adds to your self savings, and maybe makes you feel freer to spend your time- your days, your energy- pursuing whatever just jazzes you.

When someone breaks you down, you’re poorer for it. You worry when you’ll feel so secure again. Can I get back to that place- where I had, I was- enough?

But when I give a compliment, when I stop abruptly on a crosswalk to tell someone they’ve just taken my breath away, when I brake to bleed smiles over a decent doing, I don’t feel like my account is suffering for it.

And this happens no less than twice each day.

Because I’m giving does not mean someone is taking.

Because I’m passing out praise as I do Halloween candy- in fistfuls- doesn’t mean I won’t have any left over to sweeten my own self.

Because I’m thinking to myself as I see you enter a room, and must- oh I must- tell you, that, you are glowing and sexy and commanding of the entire length of my attention, doesn’t mean that I don’t- that I can’t- glow so golden for another.

Me 5.17.11 024

Because I see you labor and ask you how- how, how, how?– you find such strength and motivation, doesn’t mean that I can’t be powerful just the same.

Because that thing you did that meant something, anything, to me? However teeny tiny or eensy weensy? However unaffecting and unnoticeable? Well it spoke to me. About you, about me.

It spoke.

Because the way you smiled of waved or held that elevator open for my hurry or told me something that turned my day right-side-up, I can’t help but pause to thank you.

It changed me. The way I felt, the way I saw the day; it tendered me.

Because you said something that set some part of me so on fire, I’ll waft those flames your way when you’re cold.

Because my mother told me every.single.day of my life- from birth to 135lbs bigger than I could carry- that I was positively radiant- I want you to know, to feel, that, too.

Because I’ve felt unappreciated, I’ll clap loud when I can for you. Even all by ourselves. When no one else can hear for miles.

Because I’ve walked on pins and needles, I’ll pick them up as best I can before you set your tootsies down.

Because I’ve thought myself to be a loser- lesser than less- and then even that decimal amount divided by two- I’ll spend half a year showing you why you’re more. And maybe learn that I’m more, in turn.

Giving you warmth doesn’t leave me cold.

Letting you borrow all the good vibes I have on me, today, doesn’t mean the one I have left can’t multiply and grow and bloom without me taking it all back.

Me 5.17.11 025

Just because my day feels cloudy with a chance of rain doesn’t mean your sunshine burns me.

Just because you are positvely roc-king that top, that dress, that life of yours, it doesn’t paint me unpretty.

We’ll all be that, a vision, in our own way, in our own time.

Comments

  1. says

    I think I’m going to have to switch you on my google reader from my foodies folder to the inspirational one. Bookmarked this page for the days I need it!

  2. says

    I think this is one of my favorite posts Andie. It makes me feel inspired and warm. I love how you connect people through love. So. amazing.

  3. says

    What an amazing post, Andie. Power to you for celebrating OTHER’S successes so willingly! Compliments and positive words to others.. be it friends are complete strangers hold so much power.. and can change the moment.. the day.. or even the life. of the recipient!

  4. Johnny says

    Your well of kindness, and love can only be refilled if we drink from it! The more we drink, the more there is to tap into! The water becomes clearer, the taste more apealing!

    You have experienced this and I’ll bet you couldn’t not if you tried! Life is so much more when we spread joy and caring. Knowing that we have touched someone and knowing that it was in a positive way helps us become more loving. The shield against the negative gets stronger and we even find ourselves sharing that positiveness even with those who only know negative.

    This post never fails to inspire me. Thank you so very much! :)

  5. says

    gosh, I am having one of those grey and insecure days and I wish I had a person like you here right now that will tell my how awesome I am and how great I am doing! This period in my life is CHAOTIC.. and I have control but seem to loose it once in a while, and I go crazy when I do! blergh…..
    SUNSHINE! will try to keep that in mind…. :)

    BACI

    • Kristen says

      You ARE awesome :) It sounds so cheesy, but I absolutely love this quote “It is always darkest just before the dawn”…if it is hard and dreary right now, it must mean the sun is about to shine its light down on you soon.
      The crazy and chaotic is there so that we may appreciate the sane and calm.
      Keep pushing on friend.

      Kristen
      Indianapolis

  6. says

    This is so beautiful Andie! I agree that giving praise is SO important, and thank you for the reminder that I should do it more. I think that, so often in life, we only make comments when things are going wrong, or when someone isn’t doing something the way we want them to. However, it’s just as important (if not moreso) to let them know when they’re doing ahhmazingggg too. And for the record, YOU are amazing!

  7. Denise says

    God bless your mother for being such a cheerleader! Those of us who didn’t have a mother like that still struggle. But I feel your joy and share it; I like to compliment others, too, because I have been acquired the gift of being able to see beauty all around me, too. It lifts us all up, doesn’t it? Bless you and have a wonderful day!

  8. Mya says

    I love that you shared this. It’s such a wonderful reminder to everyone. You know those warm, fuzzy feelings? Yeah? I have one now.
    I’m just like you in this respect. I am 99% sure people think I’m crazy when I stop a complete stranger to give a compliment/say something nice, but you know what? If that’s the case, then color me insane. Because I know how I feel when someone does that for me. It can make my entire week sometimes.
    And it’s something I -must- do. I can’t stop myself. Thank goodness for some unstoppable impulses, huh? :)

  9. says

    You are so inspiring. Your words stir up such strong emotions, I get goosebumps everytime! Instead of letting the stress of work overwhelm and bury me, I will make it a point to compliment someone at every meeting I have today. I’m sure it will not only help me realize that people are more important than spreadsheets, but help others cheer up in a really negative environment. Thank YOU.

  10. Amanda R. says

    The absolutely amazing thing about sharing the happy gooies is that they multiply exponentially when shared, kind of like spores.

  11. says

    Love love LOVE this!! You seriously just made my morning..I am going to give two people compliments today. What a positively uplifting idea. I heart you…(too soon?) Baha.

  12. Mandy says

    Andie-
    Wow. I’m in an ongoing struggle with depression (am I depressed because I’m overweight, or am I overweight because I’m depressed…) but I can definitely see how showering others could lift my mood. My new goal is going to be to praise two people unrelentlessly every day, thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Barefootcookingirl says

    I bless my “Daily dose of Andie”. Here’s a virtual Big Hug you wonderful human being! Thank you for sharing this! :)

  14. says

    You’re just awesome. The fact that you try (and succeed) to make the world a better place simply by making the people around you happier, its inspiring. We need more people like you.

  15. Laura says

    This was so amazing. I think I am going to print it out and keep it everywhere, my bathroom, my car, my office. Thanks for sharing :)

  16. says

    Me too! I love complimenting people. And just because I’m loving them doesn’t mean I’m depleting my esteem supply. It grows it!

  17. says

    So true and so wise. I’ve always felt that one of the strongest indicators of a person’s character is their ability to feel happy for others when they succeed. Pardon my French, but there’s a lotta jealous bitches out there, ya know? And it’s a shame. I’ve always been a person who’s quick to shower others with praise, so I find it particularly jarring when something exciting happens for me and someone I thought was a friend either starts acting weird and distant or I find out they’re saying nasty things behind my back. When my friends succeed, I just think it’s awesome that I have such cool friends. And I would 100% rather have someone think “OMG that weird stranger just smiled at me” than walk around with a dark cloud over their day. You’re so spot-on—it costs me nothing (in fact, I can’t think of a single time I felt worse for passing on positive energy to someone else. It almost always brightens my mood as much as it does theirs), yet it can make all the difference.

  18. Cassie says

    You are such a beautiful person. I look forward to reading your latest installment every day. You’re probably lucky you live like 2,000 miles away from me. I would totally stalk you and try to be your friend. Just sayin.

  19. Katherine says

    I love your writing, you remind me why I love life so much. There is something about you that reminds me of what I love about myself and it makes me strive to be a better and better person.
    Your mother is right! You are radiant!

  20. says

    If there were more people in this world as articulate, thoughtful, lovely and full of heart as you are, dare I say it would be a much more enjoyable place to be day in and day out.

    I loved reading this mostly because I think I already knew this about you – even never having met you, I just knew you had this kind of love in you. Maybe that’s what drew me to you in the first place? Regardless, I loved this. I love you. I love your words, thoughts, deeds and beautiful soul. You my dear have just made my whole WEEK.

  21. says

    Wonderful post! A compliment really can turn a person’s day around-even a simple smile. And I think it usually benefits the person giving the compliment, too. You get some interaction there, and who doesn’t feel good about making someone’s day brighter?

  22. Stacey says

    I started reading your blog for the yummy food, and I stay for the amazing blogs like these. Really. Thank you.

  23. says

    How empowering to read a message of empathy and support in these hyper-competitive days where even cooking shows are based on who can beat the other. Imagine how much further each of us goes when we support the successes of those around us. Bravo, Andie, well done!

  24. Allie says

    I just wanted to tell you what an amazing writer you are… this was absolutely one of the most beautiful posts I’ve read, and if it’s as accurate a reflection of you as I’m sure it is, lucky are the people that surround you.

  25. colette says

    This is my favorite post (so far… I still have lots of catching up to do!). I feel/have felt these very same sentiments so often and it’s uplifting to see it so eloquently expressed on “paper”. It reminds me of a children’s book I love called “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”. Next time you are in B&N you should take a look… It seems to me that you are the definition of a “bucket filler”. :)

  26. Lacey says

    This post is the best. I am a little in love with you! You have shed a new light on many different aspects of my life with your blog (not to mention you are thoroughly entertaining). Thank you so so much for doing what you do. Reading is a true joy. Also, thank you for taking the time to email back in response to my comments. You cannot imagine how your responses have brightened my day!

  27. Amber says

    I am in love with this post!! I just found your website. I feel completely inspired, and I very much enjoy reading your blog! I also have your chocolate-chip cookie amazingness chilling in the fridge to be baked tomorrow! I like that you make weight-loss and fitness a huge inside makeover as well as the outside. Keep it up!

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