Tag Archives: Uplifting

68. I Love You, But…

I love you, but…
You’re so beautiful, but…
You have such an amazing heart, but…
You are so freaking smart, but…
You get me like no one else does, but…
You’re such an amazing friend, but…

The first part of each of these are such uplifting, encouraging, affirming statements that each of us would like to hear on a regular basis from those in our lives, to be reminded we matter, have value, and make a difference in this world we live in. Yes, it’s true, that we should come to a place where we don’t “need” affirmations from others to determine our value and worth. That’s really an inside job and a necessary one at that. However, even the most secure among us is deeply moved and greatly encouraged when sincere recognition of our positive attributes are acknowledged, appreciated, and shared with us. It’s something we should all have the pleasure of experiencing on a regular basis, if we are surrounded by those who truly care and love us unconditionally.

And then there’s the dreaded word… BUT! There are few words so small in stature, that can deflate a heart so quickly and cut so deeply. It’s the equivalent of making a deposit, with full knowledge we  intend to rob the bank afterwards. There’s this rather distorted theory that’s been floating around for ages, that if we have something unpleasant to say to someone, sandwich it between positive statements to lessen the sting. While there is some truth to making sure we accentuate the positive as well as being truthful about the areas that need improvement, this is not the way to accomplish it. Doing them simultaneously does nothing more than pillage any value that could have been gleaned from the commendation. In all truth, statements such as these serve no purpose other than to make the one speaking them feel better about the potential hurt they may have just inflicted. It’s damage control at its best, and it’s more about the comfort of the speaker than that of the receiver.

Anytime the word “BUT” is used after a positive statement, it completely negates what was just said. It takes what should have been spoken individually and received as an admiration, and riddles it with the haze of  inadequacy and judgment. Why is it that we often only think to issue positive statements when we have a criticism to follow, or we want to lessen the blow of an upcoming behavior we are about to engage in? In truth, if we honestly care about the building up of others and the state of their being, we will be acknowledging them often and with no qualifying comments or following judgments.

It is in building authentic, vulnerable, and trusting relationships that we garner the rights to sincerely voice our opinions and concerns. In any valued relationship, we are to uplift one another continually and consistently, encouraging one another to good works. When there is a strong history of support, affirmation, and encouragement, we then have the requisite to share potential areas of improvement. We don’t need to do so by sandwiching the difficult with platitudes, we do so by softly enveloping the uncomfortable with truth,  understanding, wisdom, and a great covering of genuine love. The addition of disingenuous positive attributes does not pave the way for the acceptance of criticism or dismissive excuses for the behaviors to come.

I propose each of us to take great pause prior to using the word “BUT” when a compliment is being rendered. Encouragement and admiration should always stand on their own. I’m also asking each of us to make a concerted effort to look for the good in others, and regularly remind them why they are so unique, amazing, and greatly needed. The deposits we make in these “encouragement accounts” of others are the words that will comfort them on difficult days, when they question their being, their purpose, and their value to others. It is often when those accounts are bankrupt that we lose beautiful souls. I’m asking you now to ensure a deposit is made into the account of everyone you encounter today. Just one, simple, positive statement, reassuring them of their value, with no “BUT” added.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby