God is blowing up the world through those hands of yours



Lets talk about the "oh, its just a little thing" things. (That sentence feels weird on the tongue, doesn't it?)

But really now. Haven't we all heard this/said this/felt this before? Like, we wrote something, or sang something or played a certain piece of music, or painted a picture or built/made/constructed/sculpted something, and someone sees it and says

"wow, that's amazing",

and we say "I know, I love it too. Thank you."

"Oh gosh, that? Thanks... it's y'know. Just a little thing I can do, its not really anything big."

If you're at all like me, you've said this before, at some point or another. Someone compliments your work and somewhere inside you is this thing, this voice, almost automatically deflects this word of good, and subconsciously belittles whatever it is you just made.

Or here's another one:

I work in retail and I often compliment customers on their outfits, or hairstyles or nail color, etc. The crazy part about this is the fact that the most common response I get is this sort of bashful, self-conscious "oh, goodness, thanks. I've had this forever" or "I got it from a thrift store" or "you like this hairstyle? I thought it looked horrible on me." or "oh jeez, thanks. You're too nice."

Like, why is it that we seem to have this habit of dissing ourselves? Why do we walk around calling things we do, things that burst in our hearts and make us tick, "little"?

Why should our default be "I don't look that pretty," "this hairstyle doesn't look good on me" "here are the reasons why my outfit/my hair/my face is isn't a worthy of that compliment" --why on earth should that be our default setting?

My sister sat down at the piano the other day and played Comic Love by Florence + The Machine by ear. She had never practiced it before, she just sat down and "played what she heard in her head", she told me.

I said to her afterward, "Abbie, you realize that's really special, right? Not everyone can do that. That's a gift."

And she said: "You think so?"

Its so hard for us to see how flipping awesome we are. Because, yes-- we are awesome, and we are all gifted and we are all blessed-- and those things that we do? Those "little things"?

Those "little things" are not "little". They are sacred.

They are gifts-- blessed, holy.

You can do things that no one else on planet earth can do. That poem you wrote, that thing you painted, the way you see pattern and color, the way you can speak to others-- you do something that no one else can do in that way. You have a gift that earth asks only you for, because you are the only one who can provide that particular blessing.

We need to lose this idea that compliments should be deflected, and that somehow, on some fundamental level, we are not significant. What could possibly be more significant than the image and likeness of God expressed in your skin?

A dear friend blessed me greatly recently with her words. She said, "even the most glorious tapestry would be nothing without each individual thread."

The painting of the cosmos, the vast masterpiece of everything, would be incomplete and lacking without that special, unique, beautiful gift that is you.

I dare you, as I dare myself each day, to look in the mirror and see sacred in those eyes. And when someone sees the beauty in the gifts that you are expressing and giving to the world, step back and see the beauty with them, and thank them. Own it. Own that beauty, because its yours to grab hold of. There's nothing humble about talking down something that God is blowing up the world with through those hands of yours.

Nothing is little. Nothing is insignificant.

Each and every note is rich, and good, and part of the song.

And that is beautiful.

Are you with me?



photos = gooch's beach, maine
awesome quote = Olivia who is awesome. 
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12 people commented on this post.

  1. This is so true. I've noticed for a while that I often respond to compliments by explaining why something I did isn't that great after all, and I've seen many friends do the same thing. Even though I'm aware of the problem and make a conscious effort to answer compliments without excuses, it's hard.

    I wish we could all own up to our faults and talents. Human beings only seem to do one or the other.

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    1. I so agree with you, Lydia... I have noticed the same in myself to. 'Owning' the things we do is important in a lot of ways, I think.

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  2. Your words are so wise and so true! I definitely agree. There is beauty in humility, but there is also the right way to accept your gifts. I think learning to balance that is something I definitely struggle with.

    Also, that surfing looks stellar!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly. <3 It's something I struggle with too...something I am definetly working on learning deeper. AND THE SURF WAS SO GREAT! I miss the waves like crazy

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  3. First off, those pictures are beautiful. I love the colors and everything. And, this is amazing. I love this. You said it so well. I used to always respond to a compliment with "it's nothing" or "really, you think so? I thought it wasn't so good" or just by laughing (that sounds so mean), but then my mom took me aside one day and explained to me basically what you said up there. That it isn't nothing. That whoever it is that pays you a compliment is going out of their way to be kind. That it's not about me and the uncomfortable awkward feeling I got when someone said something nice to me. It's about the fact that that person is being kind; that that 'nothing' is a gift, a good gift, and it's about appreciating and being thankful and saying 'thank you' and being humble at the same time. This is rather a jumble. But I just wanted to say that this post is awesome.

    xox

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    1. beautiful, beautiful words and thoughts,SW... thank goodness for moms. My mom has told me similar things too, and it is so true. We need reminders like this, to live open and in gratitude. It's such a beautiful way to live. And its not a jumble at all, I was really blessed by your words! Thank you so much <3

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  4. "I dare you, as I dare myself each day, to look in the mirror and see sacred in those eyes. And when someone sees the beauty in the gifts that you are expressing and giving to the world, step back and see the beauty with them, and thank them. Own it. Own that beauty, because its yours to grab hold of. There's nothing humble about talking down something that God is blowing up the world with through those hands of yours."

    This. So much of this. thank you for writing this, kate. It's like you're looking inside my soul and then making sense of all the things that I can't understand...which is crazy. girl, you're crazy. :p and also, awesomer than awesome. I saw my name and went, "wait, what?" <3 made me smile so big.

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    1. *HUGS* You are awesomefabulous, Olivia girl. Your comment made my day! And the thoughts you shared on the badlands post, like I quoted, really are profound and thought-provoking and awesome.

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  5. Yes! Thank you. This was perfection! I wholeheartedly agree with your beautiful words :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Hannah girlie! Your words mean the world.

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  6. Thank you so, so much for this. I do this all the time without even realizing it. I need to make a conscious effort to stop.

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    1. I'm right there with you, girl! *hugs*

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