The things people tell us affect us, even when we try not to let them.
The right compliment can change a person’s day, the wrong comment can ruin it.
Typically I have found though, that the best words or the worst remarks, are only worth the value of the person telling them.
When I was young I had two trainers, my mum, and a friend of mum’s called Marie.
I wanted desperately to be a cowgirl, and thought dressage was terribly boring and in fact I remember once just jumping out of the arena and riding off down to the bush.
As I grew up, and falling off onto a log or into a creek became less appealing, I grew to like the art of dressage.
“The right compliment can change a person’s day, the wrong comment can ruin it.”
I learned to enjoy striving for perfection, for straightness, and accuracy, and all the things that as I child I found particularly uninteresting.
Marie was not one to give away a compliment, and the first time she told me that I had “done quite a good test”, I felt like I’d just been told it was the perfect test of Olympic standard 😉
Recently in an email Marie said to me that she always thought I would pursue dressage, even when I was flying about in ‘should be’ circles on my pony, as I had a great empathy for the animal that is the horse.
That compliment has stayed with me to this day. Just recently doesn’t need to stay with you to this day because it was just recent???
On the other hand people can say things that may hurt us, whether or not that is their intention, and it is up to us to decide if their comment has value, if their intention is good.
The trick is to pay attention to what the person is really trying to achieve, and be aware if their words can in anyway help you see things in a new way.
If a person on the street calls out at you that you are fat, it’s quite possible they are just bored and insecure about their own bodies, but if a doctor tells you, chances are he is trying to get you to take more care of your health.
Truth is everyone has something they are good at, and something that needs work, and some people might spend their whole lives never working out which is which.
I found that dressage or horse riding was my passion not only because of empathy for the horse, but because it is the one true, and only time that my otherwise very busy mind is quiet.
It’s not nagging me about what I will do next, or what happened before, or who I should be or what I didn’t do. It’s not stressing about the pain in my back, or the chocolate block I just ate, or the things I should be doing.
“Truth is everyone has something they are good at, and something that needs work, and some people might spend their whole lives never working out which is which.”
It’s just there, in the moment, with my horse.
Finding that one thing in your life, that thing that gives you calm, is not always easy, but listening to the right people, people with the good intention, can help you find it.
It might be helping another person to do what makes them calm, it might be as a teacher who teaches others to find their calm, or it might be in the thing that you fear the most, that gives you your window and allows you to think only in that moment, and in nothing else.
Some people I am told have that ability all the time, I am not one of those people, but I consider myself truly lucky to have found the thing that gives me that window, the moment of now.
If you are not sure if you have found that, chances are you probably haven’t, and I suggest you think on finding it, as it may just help you be better in every other thing that you do.