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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