What Do You Do With the Love, Once You Get It?

We humans are a pretty complicated lot. I suppose that’s as obvious as gum melting on a hot sidewalk, yes? I like to ponder this particular fact often. I suppose, like most of us, I crave a certain amount of attention, love, appreciation. That’s normal, right?

So, why is it that whenever that happens I get all blushy and bashful and in some cases downright embarrassed? Seriously, the little child within me is a mass of teeming contradictions. She tries so hard to please people, make people laugh, write good things that have some sort of impact on others. Tries to learn life’s lessons and live the moral to the stories. Yet…

Whenever anyone gives her a pat on the head, utters an ‘atta girl’ and in some cases gushes beautifully over something she has done – her first inclination is to deny it? To think, “aw, they are just being nice”?

Why is it, that she can’t just say thank you without embarrassment? Without feeling like it’s not really true, or that it is a pity tip (that is a phrase coined long ago by some waitress, somewhere, to mean that you get a large tip because some kindly customer sees you are having the worst of bad hair days and other customers are being mean to you, so they try to right the imbalance by giving you a hideously large tip to make up for it).

What’s that dizzy, dancy, queasy feeling that snakes its way up through your gut into your throat and makes you feel like you need some sort of medication?

Is it (in my case) just that Catholic guilt thing, pride goeth before the fall, being humble is better and if you’re a good and honest person, that’s how you should feel? Is it genetic? I don’t have the thank you, gene? A family trait – I come from a long line of farmers – so maybe it’s my lot to just hoe the garden and feed the hungry and not expect or want or accept thanks? You see what I mean about the little girl who lives in there, inside my head?

I still can’t quite figure out how to accept a compliment gracefully as they say. My first response is always some sort of humorous self deprecating comment. Sometimes I can take a deep breath, give myself a silent pep talk, force down the blood pressure and just say thank you. Yet, even then the response just doesn’t seem quite right. Not sufficient. I see others do it so well, like honey glistening on flower petals. Effortlessly and gracefully and I think, “golly bob, how the heck do they do that?” I think perhaps I’ll never know.

Maybe some of us, like me for example, are just meant to trip and stammer over the compliments and find a pill that will keep us from turning bright red in mixed company. Probably.

So…how do you handle the love when you get it? Are you a basket of twittering giggles or do you just absorb it and breath it in like fresh air?