Over the years, I have gotten many compliments.
Most I have blatantly ignored and shied away from, for obvious reasons. (beeeep:low self worth)
2021 challenged that notion for me.
My self love journey enabled me to get in touch with different avatars of and within me that vibrated and glittered... and I hugged myself tight through them all.
My friends started a page (PitchIn Club) where you could offer your time, talents, and skills with others in order to receive money - but as a donation that contributes toward COVID-19 support. When I encouraged the thought to step up, an inward voice asked, "Will anyone (even one) sign up for a session with me?" "Will I be making a fool of myself putting myself out there?"
When I shared this with a friend, she nudged me and said "Oh Venky, I for one would definitely sign up to talk to you" Thank you for that my dear fren.
I created a profile and listed my interests. I messaged all the people I knew (what I felt was awkward but it was for a great cause so I said why not?) and day after day I convinced a lot of my friends to contribute to the cause through these soulful conversations with me. Most of the conversations revolved around mental health during these times, spirituality, art, finding your passion, daily dose of positivity and inspiration amongst many others. At the end of each conversation, as a form of gratitude to the cause, I sang a song for each of my friends (I reconnected with some old, forged some new ones). Along with my friends, through about twenty 1:1s we raised 70K INR which was huge - it made me feel I can contribute to a cause. Each of them validated me in many ways. "You're so inspirational!!!" (Awww) is one that I remember amongst many that tugged at my heart. They also made me realize through their words how valuable as a human, as a friend, as a listener, as a person who people would love to spend time with that I am. My own sister who was abroad paid for a call with me as well... That was huge for me.
Once all these settled, I realized - external validation is important for we do live in a social world with appreciation and criticism alike. However nothing and no one lasts forever, definitely not people's words... they're all fleeting moments and energies and not to be taken too seriously (just as with anything!)
But they made me realize my worth. They all sang the same tune within a similar period of time which forced me to take a double take at the mirror and claim, "Yeah Bich, I am cool!" I am loving and compassionate and inspiring and strong and more. I am Whenky - I am my own segment - there is no space of boxes, hierarchies and stereotypes and where I am loved by myself and others for me.... for being boldly and unabashedly myself.
Gratitude and Love,