I had struggled for years, not even sure how long, because it's been so long, to receive compliments from my wife Jenn. She would go out of her way to thank me, encourage me, build me up, yet I wouldn't receive it with appreciation or with the happiness I should have. I would often ignore her text message or blow her off, instead of accepting her blessing and thanking her.
What I've discovered through my "Celebrate Recovery" program (http://www.celebraterecovery.com/) is when we don't love ourselves---it's hard to accept genuine compliments from others, and to love them deeply.
I've heard many times that I'm to love my neighbor as I love myself. This was so important to Jesus, it's quoted in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. When Jesus said, "love your neighbor as you love yourself", the key here, first and foremost is we must love ourselves first---before we can love our neighbor.
Due to my unresolved hurts, habits and hang ups, I didn't love myself. Although I was selfish and self-centered as us humans are--I didn't love myself. I often didn't believe the words my wife and others said about me. Not that I didn't appreciate or need them, deep down I just didn't believe the words. Since I didn't love myself, I could rarely accept compliments, and I failed miserably to love others the way I can now.
Maybe you find common ground with how I felt. Do you not believe good thoughts showered over you? Do you blow them off? What do you believe about yourself?
Until we deal with unresolved pain, we may find it difficult to accept compliments and/or to love others deeply. Christine Cain taught this truth and challenged me to stay focused on recovery when she said: "When we walk through life with unresolved pain, we will see life through a lens of pain."
Chris & Jenn live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. They were high school sweethearts, marrying in 2001. They are parents to one son, Luke (born November 1999) and two loving pups: Miley & Elsie.