One of the maxims I grew up with was my mum and my aunt saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Good advice to live by and I'm still surprised when others haplessly dish out slights to others and sadly all too often especially their loved ones. I’m not saying I’m an angel (well not quite - work in progress :-) ) but when something mean or derogatory does slip out I have learned to at least be aware of being in a grump and apologise.
But going back to the old saying. I think we’d all benefit by upping the ante of positivity even more.
This morning I had a lovely message from the buyer of one of my paintings saying how pleased she was with it and how it made her feel happy whenever she looked at it. It gave me such a boost. I sell lots and lots of paintings and know that pretty much all of my buyers and collectors love them, but even so I still suffer from the common affliction that most creative people have of (occasional) doubt in my ability or (always) disappointment if sales go quiet.
And if any friends come to see me and proffer negative criticism of a painting – some just can’t resist – it’s like an arrow attempting to penetrate my self-confidence. I have to wear armour around it.
So the lovely message got me thinking and I’m going to update mum’s and my aunt’s advice to
“Always find something nice to say to every one you meet.”
Just think of the extraordinary difference this will make to the world if we all do it!
So just for today I’m going to say something kind, thoughtful or in some other way positive to brighten their day/lighten their load. Even if does that just by an iota who knows what a difference it will make.
Plus of course it will uplift me too – my Samaritan training so many years ago taught me that whenever we are listening to others we need to be aware of why we’re there – for there is always an element of helping ourselves too. (Nothing wrong with that – it’s just that awareness of it saves us from being goody goodies and/or self-righteous.)
The other thing I’m trying to practise is being aware of when I’m feeling purgy and realise the danger of being thoughtless or mean and watch every word.
My ex-husband and enduring friend, though sadly he excels in the put-down, is very wise in many ways and one of his maxims is “Engage brain before speaking.”
So yes, memo to me to remember whenever I talk to someone:
“Engage brain before speaking and then find something nice/positive/encouraging to say.”
With love and light
p.s. My mum and my aunt, both sadly long since departed this life, are I’m sure somewhere in the dimensions cheering me on. Steve, on the other hand, who thinks I live on another planet anyway, should he ever read my blog which he won’t, would say “oh dear – she’s still got her rose-coloured glasses on.” Well yes. But once again – if we all do something to somehow, somewhere, brighten the grey, in some small measure we’ll brighten the whole world – and collectively – well . . . . it could be awesome. Couldn’t it?