Lessons from the Mummy: Accepting a Compliment
Last night was Halloween. My son dressed up as a mummy. He was the most adorable and yet creepy mummy. He was very pleased with how his costume turned out before we left the house. His satisfaction didn’t last long though.
You have to know something about my boy to understand the rest of the story. He’s very particular about how things look and how things feel. He likes to have things be the way they are “supposed to be.” He’s a wonderful, sensitive kid and incredibly bright and funny. But some days his obsessive nature can make me a little bonkers. So being a mummy with gauze hanging down in places was almost a recipe for disaster. It made for an awesome costume, but he wanted it to be perfect. Mummys aren’t perfect, buddy!
We headed out into the neighborhood for trick or treating. People at almost every house commented on how great his costume was.
“You are the best mummy ever!”
“Who did your makeup?”
“You look so scary!”
“Here’s extra candy…you’re awesome!”
and on…and on…and on…
He politely said thank you but in between each house we heard,
“This part is falling.”
“It’s coming off.”
“People can see my shorts.”
“This looks funny.”
He made me re-pin several areas that he didn’t think were just right. After about 30 minutes of this I began to think about times that I do the exact same thing. I tend to listen to compliments and immediately discount them. I obsess about my weaknesses and imperfections.
“Your hair looks really cute!”
“Yea, but my gray is showing through and they cut my bangs too short.”
“That was a great class!”
“Thank you, but my voice was shaky and I kept forgetting what I was going to say.”
“You inspire me.”
“Really. I still have so much weight to lose. I feel like a failure.”
When I don’t accept a compliment it’s like throwing it back in the giver’s face. It doesn’t do me any favors. It keeps me feeling bad about myself and keeps me feeling that I am not worthy of whatever the compliment giver has said. It gives the negative voices in my head a stronghold to keep me captive. It keeps me from growing and learning and dreaming. All it really requires is a smile and a “thank you.” Take in what was said. Believe it. Dream. Grow.