“Thank You” – I Accept Myself Just As I Am

Last week I attended a conference in Los Angeles, California.  While at this conference with 600 other women, I learned this concept of not needing approval from others.  We also learned that if someone were to give you negative criticism that you had the option to look at them and simply say, “Thank you.”  On that very day I was given the opportunity to put this idea to work. 

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, I experienced a day filled with 2011 Braveheart Women RISE Conference speakers and activities.  Afterwards, I decided to have dinner with my new friend who I had just met that morning.  While eating she had asked me to explain how my accident had occurred in December 2010.  I explained my journey to her and when I was done, an elderly man who was sitting with his wife at the table behind us said, “Finally, there is quiet in here.”  I looked at the man and said, “Excuse me?”  I was confused as to what he was saying.  He continued to say, “All you do is talk.” 

Now prior to this particular day, I would have likely internalized this man’s words and felt sensitive to his lack of respect or understanding.  However, this was a new day.  So rather than get upset, I simply looked up at the man and replied, “Thank you.” 

The man was disgruntled and shocked by my response.  He continued to speak his mind and once again I said, “Thank you”.  Again, I repeated, “Thank you.  Actually, speaking is one of my many gifts.” 

His wife tried to salvage the situation by saying, “Well, you have a very lovely story.”  However, this man was angry; and as he walked away, he made sure he got his last words out with “Youth these days.”  He and his wife left the dining area and I couldn’t help but smile.  On this day I learned how to embrace who I was.  I embraced my every being and I did not need that man’s approval.  I love to speak and I love to share my story.  For that very reason, “Thank you”.

 “You do not need my approval or anyone else’s for that matter.  You are perfect just as you are, so take a moment to embrace your very being.”

Dr. Nicole M. Eastman