I love getting compliments.
I hate getting compliments.
I have a complicated love-hate relationship with compliments.
Ditto for accepting help. Even help I really need from people who really love me. Especially help I really need.
I’m not sure if it’s tied to insecurity, pride, or the constant suspicion that I’m just pretending to be a well-adjusted adult. So when you say something nice to me, or when you do something nice for me, I feel guilty for being such a fraud.
Because sometimes I yell at my kids. And buy myself a bag of candy I don’t need, which I then hide and don’t share with anyone. Because sometimes I roll my eyes when I should nod my head. And I really can’t stand Christian radio, at all, but I like listening to Eminem. Because sometimes I ignore my husband and the housework and homework and exercise when I know it’ll just make everything worse. And the other day I threw something across the room when the vacuum broke, right after giving my daughter a lecture about watching her temper, and I didn’t even feel bad about it.
But sometimes, I don’t do the lazy, selfish, short-sighted thing. And I actually get it right.
While all those nice things that you’ve done and said (and I’ve had a lot lately) might be hard to swallow at first, after I’ve had time to digest awhile, they nourish my best self. They make me stronger. Strong enough to do better. Strong enough to believe that I really am the better person you see. That maybe the real me, the me God designed me to be and is helping me become, is patient and loving and wise, and okay… imperfect, but totally cool enough to pull it off anyway.
So here’s my thanks to all the encouragers in my life; sometimes I’m uncomfortable in the face of your generosity and kindness, both the words and deeds, but you make me strong and I couldn’t do without you.