Stubbed My Toe on a Compliment

Shoot! Again?! I have this uncanny ability to run my appendages into stationary objects… toes into coffee tables, shoulders into corners, fingers into countertops.  This is the sort of thing that love ones tell you is “charming” or “entertaining.”  I however, choose to look at it as annoying.  But of course I do, because how often do we throw back into the sea a metaphoric fish that was meant to feed and nurture us?

   Friend: “Wow, don’t you look lovely this evening!”

   You: “Nah, I just threw this dress on and I really should loose more weight.”

   Spouse: “You’re going to get that promotion for sure – you’ve been working so hard!”

   You: “Nah, it’s a tough race.  I don’t have as much experience as the others, we’ll see.”

   Coworker: “You’re really helped me out the other day– you’re such a good listener.”

   You: “Nah, you would have done the same for me.”

Why on earth is it so hard for us – ahem, for me – to say THANK YOU?

To say “thank you”, to accept a compliment, is to agree with another person that you have VALUE.  For those with wounded pieces of their past, assigning value to anything can be risky business.  Jewelry gets stolen, houses burn down, pets die, bodies are violated and self-esteem is crushed.  What’s more, as brokenness enters our life we begin to lose trust in our own selves.  If we assign value to an object and it breaks, that’s one thing.  If we assign value to ourselves and WE break (or fail), that’s a whole higher level of disappointment.  Condemnation enters the mind of a broken heart and sounds much like this:

I hate these statements.  Each of them has taken turns latching their gnarly claws into my heart.  NO MORE!  These are the lies that cause broken people to deflect compliments like oncoming grenades.  I must become OK with a little friendly fire because the hits really aren’t as bad as grenades; it’s more like stubbing a toe.  I have to learn to stub my toe with a smile.  I have to learn to just say “thank you” to the compliments.  I have to learn to reassign the value to myself that was once taken from me.  I have to be OK with me.

May this blog serve as an education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as an encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

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  1. Nik

     /  October 19, 2011

    I have no daughter of my own but after following your blog I’m aching inside to say something to you which I may not have the right to say so I’m hoping and praying you’ll receive it as I mean it, for it is very close to my heart. “I’m so very proud of you”. You’re displaying an inner strength and integrity that’s not readily found in this world today, but much needed. You have so much to offer and this world is certainly a better place because of you. People may first recieve you as a woman of strength and integrity, which is true enough, but once they get to know you they’ll soon see your real strength which dwells within, Praise the LORD. And when they do they’ll realize a truly inner beauty which is so obvious to me. Thank you for sharing your story kiddo. You’re “one in a million.”

    • Wow Nik… I feel like I’ve started most of my responses to comments on here with “wow” but I just can’t help doing it again. Please hear this in the sincerest tone I can muster, thank you so very much. You know it’s funny, I normally hate when people I don’t know tell me that they’re proud of me but I could feel how genuine your words were. Thank you. Thank you for the encouragement and thank you for speaking truth into my life! There are many days that I am not a strong women at all, but the Lord always is.

  2. Harmonie

     /  October 19, 2011

    “To say “thank you”, to accept a compliment, is to agree with another person that you have VALUE.” I needed to hear that! Thank you for sharing this! It’s something I’ve been thinking about and struggling with. Thank you for your encouragement!

    • You’re welcome Harmonie <— see? (As painful as that was.) Look I'm practicing! 🙂 Thanks for YOUR encouragement Harmonie.

  3. Oh – Have I been here. So eloquently stated. Joyce Meyer calls this the “Shame-Based-Nature”, she could label it after she healed from abuse and incest. Leanne Payne calls it “Self-Loathing” in her book, “Restoring the Christian Soul.” It is truly not seeing ourselves as God sees us.

    To be healed is to believe that no one else and no one’s actions have the power to label our worth save Christ – and apparently to Him I am worth everything! A compliment from a friend is just an affirmation of God’s glory reflected in us.

    • “A compliment from a friend is just an affirmation of God’s glory reflected in us.”… so true… when we downplay ourselves or discount the compliments from others it’s almost as if we’re slapping God in the face saying, “You didn’t do a good enough job on me.” We’ll what God creates, by His very nature, is good. It’s our free will that gets in there and messes things up, no?


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