Yesterday, I got distracted from my little diatribe with Ark by something that happened at Terry’s site.
A little background on Terry – Terry is currently a caregiver for her brother Al who is suffering from a debilitating, terminal illness that also affects his mind. She is literally cut off from the social world for the most part due to having to be with him 24/7, and as we all would, suffers from some loneliness and those crappy side-effects of basically only having yourself to talk to all day. She started her blog site about the same time as I did, and I found out yesterday that I was her very first follower. I feel like I “discovered” her…lol.
Anyways, Terry writes a lot of emotional posts and sometimes they are sad. They are very honest, and they’ve struck a chord with a lot of people. I’ve watched her site gain a pretty good following, and I personally think that her success is due in a large part to the fact that there are a lot of people out there that can relate to her pain.
So, imagine my dismay when I read her post that she is going to start writing only happy pieces. 😦 Turns out, someone who I’m assuming meant nothing really malicious by it, commented on one of her posts that basically, she needed to get over how she was feeling and move on… 😮
It is a theory of mine that it only takes one negative comment to ruin hundreds of positive ones, and Terry’s reaction made me sad. I commented, disagreeing with her decision to paint Happy Terry Land, and then the flood gates opened, and Terry was bombarded by encouragement, support, love, understanding…every good thing one person can do for another. It made me smile, because Terry has no where else she can get those really important things right now…just here in Blogosphere.
So, Terry, being a Love Bug, writes another post, and in it she gives me huge crazy credit for helping her overcome her reaction to this comment and is super complimentary about me personally.
That is where I suddenly came to a stop. I really have no idea how to take an awesome compliment. The more beautiful the compliment, the less I know how to respond… I have no idea why I lack that social elegance, but I sincerely blow at it.
One thing I appreciate about writing, and not really communicating in person, is that the compliments can be handled without someone looking expectantly at me. I love to get compliments, but at the same time, I always have these fears that I don’t deserve these compliments, or some guilt thinking that maybe I’m somehow tricking a person who is complimenting me…not on purpose, but still… I have no problems handing them out…that part is easy because I know I’m being truthful, but I guess I am afraid that the good things people think about me might not be true ..So, I usually stick to a short Thank You, and try to divert attention to something else quickly, or point out instead something awesome about the complimenter..Or, I make a joke.
And so, obviously off my game a little last night, I responded to Terry’s high compliment by making a joke about her reference to me “scolding” her…Her reaction was distressing..She couldn’t tell I was joking and thought she’d upset me.
I was quick to tell her I was kidding and fix the little mess, but as I drove to my husband’s work, I really started thinking about why it is so hard for me just to accept that maybe it is just a little bit true that people could really like me. I asked my husband and all he said was that I’m absolutely the sh** and deserve the compliments, but he didn’t really understand the depth of the question. Besides, he was working…bad time for a heart-to-heart.
I then asked Rebekkah, and she kind of cleared it up pretty matter-of-factly…We all have a hard time with the compliments, and we shouldn’t be all gung-ho to change that thing about us either. We all want other people to think we’re a little bit special, but unless we are die-hard in love with ourselves, that humility that goes with wondering if we really earned this kind of reaction is actually good for us. The day you start believing in your own heart that you are actually truly awesome, is the day you start putting yourself on a throne and begin looking down out your fellow man.
I don’t ever want to be on a throne..the fall down is hard and bitter. I’ll take a pass on that little experience. 🙂 Jesus earned it, and I’m happy to serve Him right here on the ground!
In fact, the posts I’ve written that people have responded the most to, are in fact, things the Lord has written more than me. I really can’t take credit for much on those…I don’t need to add the seedling of pride to my already impressive lists of sins I struggle with.
I’m going to leave my inability to believe I deserve any of the high credit I’m being given these days alone.
I’ve weighed and measured this weirdness I feel about being complimented, and I find it more useful that not… So, just so you know, if my reaction is that of a goofball, it because the compliment made me feel so wonderful, I just couldn’t afford to believe it could be 100% true. 🙂