My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

The Secret that Shouldn’t Be

I’m not a fan of secrets. It seems they are always hurting someone or leaving someone out or feeding that beast of rejection. A few years back I wrote a whisper here, something that felt like a secret, only I longed for it not to be.


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I like my eyes.


Please don’t tell.

In fact, if you could hear me talking I would be whispering. Why would I whisper myself a compliment? Because it feels wrong to say it. It feels foreign to allow good things slip from my lips about yours truly. I have become so accustom to shouting criticism of myself and drowning out anything good, that to admit there is good feels wrong. But here’s the heart of the secret. I have it backwards.

All this time I’ve been holding the negative, my hands are too full to grab the positive. It’s what’s expected, isn’t it?

When someone says, “I love your hair!” the acceptable female response is, “Oh, I haven’t washed it in two days” or “I need a haircut so badly.”

When someone smiles at me it can’t just be a friendly greeting, surely it is because I have broccoli (or more likely chocolate) in my teeth or toilet paper stuck to my shoe.

When someone tells me I have beautiful eyes, the normal response would be to change the subject.

When did normal become dodging the good instead of saying thank you? Click To Tweet

I’m trying to get back to normal, the real normal.

The normal that says thank you and that doesn’t avoid buying a pair of pants because the number on the little tag on the inside that no one else can even see makes me cringe in disgust.

The normal that can look in the mirror and see more beautiful things than ugly.

The normal that can say I like my eyes and not have to whisper.

Let’s help each other get back to normal. A normal that can say thank you and believe the good about themselves. The normal that shows gratitude and humility without assaulting yourself. 

What secret have you been keeping about yourself? 

Sharing words with these great writers today!

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

27 Replies

  1. This may be my first visit here — and what a welcome! Goodness, I sure do know about the cringe when I look in the mirror and the wilting thought of the number on the tag in my pants. So thankful for the truth that God sees and knows my heart and that He is more than willing to meet me and to carry me in this life of faith. Blessings to you as you share your words with this wonderful community.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for your encouragement Michele. Sometimes knowing we’re not alone in our struggles makes all the difference!

  2. Someone recently offered me grace and when I argued she said “have you ever heard to just say thank you?”
    Idon’t do that. Maybe that’s why we are so trying to win other people approval because we refuse to be a positive and well balanced reporter of our own lives.
    My secret …hmmm. I like my legs 🙂

    1. Becky Hastings

      Legs! Yes! I’m so glad you shared 🙂 It can be so hard to be gracious. Somehow I think we’ve adopted the idea that it’s proud or self-serving. But God wants us to see the good in ourselves!

  3. Love this! I have a friend that is trying to help me get better at just accepting the good. To just say thank you, even if I would rather no one notice me or say anything. I know I am not the only one who would rather not be seen. But I am trying to reach that place of living fully loved and unashamed.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Oh, Deanna. You have hit on something so pivotal here: the idea that we would rather not be seen. Oh, how I can relate. I struggle with simultaneously screaming (inside) “look at me, look at me!” and “don’t look at me!” The idea of living fully loved and unashamed is life changing. Maybe we can get there together 🙂

  4. There is so much truth here! I hate that compliments make me cringe and want to change the subject. I want my girls to see themselves as the beauties they are, and that starts with me!

    1. Becky Hastings

      That’s so true Sarah! It is hard, but I’ve found it helps if I think about what I want my girls (and even my son) to see. Do I want them to see the model for a woman who is constantly belittling herself and never good enough? How we treat ourselves impacts how our girls will treat themselves. You’re going to give them so much by starting with you!

  5. So much truth here! Sometimes I think we have taken what might have started out as an attempt at humility into the realms of self loathing. I don’t like a whole lot about my physical appearance right now, but I do like the way I’m able to connect people, bring them together, and enlarge the circle of love and acceptance. Blessings!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Good for you Liz for recognizing those great qualities about yourself! Physical appearances can be hard, but starting with things you love about yourself is a great way to get the ball rolling! Praying God shows you something beautiful about you today!

  6. To receive and to give to one another. I think we all can agree that this post resonates with us. I’m learning to focus on the positive, to receive a compliment and to give freely! Thank you for sharing your heart! Blessings to you!

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s funny how both receiving compliments and giving them can feel hard. I’m not great at either. Somehow I think that giving someone else a compliment is saying something bad about myself. Thank you for reminding me to give words freely and receive them with grace!

  7. Thank-you for this. I’ve been seeing jealousy and pride (stemming from insecurity, I’m assuming!) in my own life recently, so this was another good reminder to come back to the real normal where I am loved by a Father and just as I should be. Thanks.

    1. Becky Hastings

      YES! Loved. Right here. Right now. Just as we are! For me, that means loved. Period. Same goes for you. We all have different things we are insecure about, but imagine how different it would be if we all lived believing we are loved?!

  8. Becky- I do this too. I always negate compliments, instead of believing them. I also don’t talk nicely to myself.
    How that must pain God when I’m so awful to myself:( Today, I think I look pretty! (did i say that publically) 😉
    Your #DancewithJesus neighbor,

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yay Julie! You did say that you look pretty publically, and I bet it made God smile 🙂 How much it must bless Him when we appreciate the amazing creations that we are!

  9. Have you been spying on me again, Becky? Ha! I have this issue too that I don’t want to be an issue anymore. And every time I do these things I inwardly kick myself so it really only makes it worse. I am learning to just ask God simply, like a child, for forgiveness -and moving along to try again. It is so good when you can give yourself grace!! It almost boosts your ability to do better next time, instead of anticipating another trip up. It is good to know we are not alone here and thanks for giving us a chance to say so! God bless you, friend!!!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Lol! No spying Meghan, I promise! I think so many of us feel these same things, and the more we talk about it the less shame there is — because that shame can only exist in the dark. And God is grace and light. Glad to be stepping into that with you today!

  10. Agreed. God made you, and when He made man He said it was good. 🙂

    1. Becky Hastings

      Such a simple truth. Yet, why do we have such a hard time believing? Grateful for your reminder today!

  11. I like my eyes, too! Not my thighs though, but we won’t go there 😉 Thank you for this nugget of truth. We all needed a reminder that God creates beauty, and when we don’t like what we see in the mirror, we’ve insulted the Creator of the creation called us.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yay Doris! It’s wonderful to hear people affirm the beauty of who God made them to be. (And I hear you on the thighs….God’s still working on me. I am grateful that my thighs work. They do their job and get me places. It’s a start) 😉

  12. Thank you for this. I like me eyes too, some days they’re really blue. 🙂

    1. Becky Hastings

      Eyes are pretty special, aren’t they? Good for you Lisa! 🙂

  13. This is great! We must embrace the good in ourselves just as well as improve upon areas where we could use a little extra help. The more we accept and empower what makes us beautiful, the more we have to offer the world. Excellent post! (P.S. I have beautiful eyes as well)

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yay Brittany! I love all you said about how we have more to offer the world when we see the good in ourselves. But my favorite part is how casually and confidently your P.S. read! 🙂

    2. Becky Hastings

      And I love your site! So vivid & colorful…can’t wait to read more!

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