Have you ever been complimented and felt absolutely terrible about it? That sure happened to me this week. I do not handle compliments well as it is. It is an insecurity in myself that I have always fought. I fight it and lose most of the time. I just do not take compliments well. I know that they are well meaning and come from a place of love or respect, but never in my life have I actually felt worthy of them.
The most recent example of this occurred on Monday evening before our last show aired. I am sitting here writing this on a Thursday morning, days later, and I am still struggling greatly. I will start this story by saying that the two other people involved in this are two of the most genuine and well-meaning people you can ever meet. I place NO BLAME on them for how I have personally handled this situation. I just want to be really clear about this. Again, this is the story of a compliment that for days now has just bummed me the heck out!
Our good buddy and friend of the show Joe came out and helped my men’s softball team out on Monday night. After the game we were discussing life and just shooting the breeze as one does after a softball game. We were discussing the show and strategizing how to keep this show going strong and growing it. Joe told me that he was talking about the show to another Pastor friend of his. I know right? A Pastor talking to a Pastor. Crazy right?!?!
As it turns out, this second pastor is someone that I know. Full disclosure, I know him, he knows me, I could pick him out of a police lineup, but it is not like we are tight. We have never had a beer together or caught a ball game. We have met. We have occupied the same space a few times. We have occupied the same space enough for me to know that this is a QUALITY individual. This is one of the worlds legitimate good people. As a Pastor he is ROCKING it at his Church. I mean they are growing by leaps and bounds because people are naturally drawn to this guy. He just captures your attention and respect within the first few moments you meet him. It was always a pleasure when our paths crossed, although they have not crossed for about four years now.
Our buddy Joe was talking to Pastor Good Guy, and they were talking about the show! Exciting right? Absolutely it is! I was however not ready for the next part of the story. Now I was not there, so I am sure this was just a passing statement and not some in depth conversation. A mention was made about me from a few years back being in a “Bad Place”. What that little statement said to me was, that when I met this Pastor years ago, I clearly did not make a good impression. I really like this guy, and I always enjoyed our interactions, but even during that season of knowing him, he could read me and my life well enough to know that I was in a bad season of my life? Really? How does that even work? I am most certainly not saying he was wrong. He was absolutely right. Hindsight always being 20/20, I was not in a good place in life when I met him.
That was a season of being in a very unhealthy relationship that I have often referred to on the show. I was dating a woman who was fighting her own demons. Dumb old Kyle and his often times ridiculous Savior Complex thought I could save this person. Clearly, I could not.
Wow though! I mean, how did he know? What did I do? What did I say? Was I an arse? Was I hateful? What did I do that he could so clearly read me? I have wrestled greatly with these questions since Monday. Now remember that they whole crux of the conversation was that I am better now than I was then! That is where THEY landed. That is NOT where I am landing.
I feel like I owe them and most of the people who were around me during that season of life an apology. What could I have possibly been like? I honestly do not know? I have been fighting these thoughts for days now. This was told to me to be encouraging, but I am having a difficult time wrapping my mind around that. My own worry, doubt, and anxiety have taken over.
We have all had these times. Times when something that was supposed to be positive and encouraging have set off our insecurities and fears. I wish I had the magic words to make it so these things do not bother us anymore, but I do not. For people like me who struggle with compliments, we need to work on ourselves and understand that we can actually do good things. We can contribute to the life of others and when they thank us for that; it is okay! Accept that you have done good for others, and then go ahead and give God the credit for giving you the gift. Be encouraged that you have value and when other people see it and thank you for it; it is deserved!
Let us all work on accepting what other people tell us. In this very cold, bitter, jaded world that we live in, it is hard to accept others light. Let that light warm you, and then go shine your light on someone else. When we all do this, we will find that the world is just a little bit brighter!