A well-timed word

Sometimes someone will say something so surprising that I can’t help but let it through my defenses. Like Mary, I treasure it in my heart, taking it out once in a while to make sure it’s still there and to relish the good feeling that it gives me. There are things I remember from years past that still encourage me, although I would wager that the people responsible don’t remember saying them.

(By the way, this is completely different than the Gollum and Frodo way of doing things, which I am also prone to. Someone will say something negative and I will keep it inside, nursing the wound, checking to make sure it still hurts. Hating it but being unable to let it go. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Although it applies, since there are hurtful things that I remember that I am sure the responsible parties have forgotten.)

Anyway, yesterday I got a compliment that really caught me off guard. I’m not very good at taking compliments, I admit. It’s hard to know what to say. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything yesterday, because I was so surprised. But it registered with me, and I keep thinking about it, amazed that someone could say such a nice thing about me. Shocked, really.

It’s interesting to think about the things that stay with us, both good and bad. I brush off so many sincere compliments, and yet an offhand remark that someone meant jokingly might hurt me for years. This time, though, I am trying to take it in and bask in the glow of the kind, well-timed words.

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