From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

September 28

Once upon a time, my friend Joan believed the childhood chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Then she grew up.

As an adult, she tipped the scales at well over 500 pounds. Joan has learned how to avoid the cutting remarks people make: She stays home.

But with their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary approaching, her husband planned a romantic evening out for the two of them. Joan decided to sew a dressy new blouse for their celebration.

The restaurant was perfect, but the patrons weren’t. Joan managed to ignore the blunt comments and rude stares, but when a young girl headed toward their table, Joan cringed.

Joan held her breath while a tiny hand gently stroked her sleeve.“You’re so pretty in that top.” Then the little girl smiled and walked back to her seat.

That single compliment changed Joan’s life.“Now, when people mutter behind my back, I’m sure the words everyone whispers . . . are flattering,” Joan says. “That’s all I hear—now. Only compliments. Words that can never hurt me.”

Carol McAdoo Rehme

You can hear only compliments
if that’s what you choose to hear.

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