Well, it appears I have not internalized my new mantra as well as I thought.
A friend tried to pay me a very kind compliment this morning. One that I didn't feel very deserving of at all, so I tried to brush it off by making a joke that essentially undid the compliment. By which, my friend seemed bothered, at best.
After we parted ways, I began thinking about this exchange a bit more and I realized this: This week I have made great progress in accepting that I have intrinsic and unalterable value in the eyes of my Creator and myself and also that those around me are not questioning this value.
What happened this morning requires another leap, though. I need to believe that in addition to not pondering whether I lack value, some of those around me may actually be fully aware of my value (more so than I, even). And a compliment made is a result of this and not just someone making something up in order to have something kind to say to me.
And I'm sharing this here because I know many women who have a similar reaction as mine when paid a compliment. Does making light, or debasing ourselves benefit the individual paying the compliment in anyway? No. Nor do I believe that refusing to accept a compliment is a sign of humility. Or, conversely, that accepting and, even further, agreeing with a compliment is a sign of a lack of humility.
So, looks like I still have more to do with my homework assignment.
But, there was an activity for the women at church tonight and I had so much fun! And on the way home, I realized that for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel exhausted from the effort of putting on a happy face. That was a really nice feeling.