Give compliments. Amazing and precious ones. The kind of thing so valuable that someone would buy them if only they could.
If cake is love and laughter is a gift, here we’re talking about compliments that are the biggest, glowing, sparkling, perfect, reddest rubies (rubies, as they are my ultimate jewel porn but feel free to swap them for whatever gets your rocks off).
When you get them: hoard them, cherish them, take them out regularly to polish them and admire them. Let them fill you with the fire to make brave choices. Live up to them.
You know what the old book says? “I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.” (Isaiah 54:12 NIV). Exactly! Use your rubies to shield you from the onslaught of those Dark Coals of Criticism and Self-Doubt . You know the ones which you also hoard and, like a freakin’ masochist, take out to burn yourself with now and then? Hold them next to your rubies. Which of them catches your eye? Which makes you smile? Which of them speaks to your heart? ….What coals, eh?
When you give someone a compliment, if you can, make it a ruby… huge, honest and heartfelt. Not just a “Your hair looks nice.” but a “Your eyes are absolutely gorgeous.”, “I enjoy your writing – you write like Hadley Freeman in the Guardian.”, “You always look beautiful.” or “You are a remarkable woman!” *
One of those beauties won’t just brighten someone’s day, it will brighten their whole life.
* Some of these might be from my own little cache. If you recognise one: I’ve cherished what you said, thank you so much.