Back in the summer of 2017, I worked for a youth camp in my diocese. And at the end of the summer, each staff member received affirmations from the other staff members. When it was my turn to receive affirmations, what the others said took me a bit off guard. Much of what they saw in me, I couldn’t see in myself.
I bring these things up for a reason.
Most of the time, we tend to see the terrible things in ourselves. And this clouds our ability to see the good that others see in us. So hearing affirmations like I did at the end of that camp season can do us good.
Hearing affirmations can remind us that we’re not just the bad things that we’ve done or we think we’ve done.
We are the good things we’ve done. We’re how we helped others and impacted their lives. We are the smiles we’ve brought to their faces. We are a mirror to the good in themselves. We are bringers of laughter. We bring good surprises to their lives.
In hearing affirmations from others, we can hear the good things and qualities that God has given us. And through hearing affirmations, we can begin to understand some of the gifts God has given us to share with others.
But work isn’t the only place in which we can receive affirmations.
Yes, work is a good place to receive affirmations. Especially if there are doubts on our end on how we did/performed. But receiving affirmations from friends and family can be even more powerful.
They tend to spend more time with us and see us in a more relaxed setting. And it is because of this that they can give us affirmations that are more personal.
And affirmations don’t have to be elaborate.
When we did affirmations at the end of that summer, we sat in a circle in the Chapel. And the person receiving the affirmations would sit in a certain chair while the others would take their turns giving them affirmations.
It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as this. It can be as simple as what we at camp called “warm fuzzies.” These were little pieces of paper that had hand written notes on them.
Don’t get me wrong, all affirmations are good.
Receiving any kind of affirmation, whether from coworkers, friends, or family is good. And in receiving affirmations, we’re reminded of the good we can do. No matter if their verbal or in warm fuzzy fashion.
In fact, I still sometimes read the affirmations I was given at the end of that summer. Because in those affirmations, I find happiness and remember the good that came of my summer at camp.
Until next time!