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  • Writer's pictureKris Freudenthal

Accomplishments and the Struggle to Accept Praise

I have always struggled with accepting praise. I can remember this burden being an issue even as a small girl. But now, as an adult, I’m faced with the reality that this battle is affecting not only how I see myself, but how others see me as well. If I can’t accept praise, then I can’t accept compliments. If I can’t accept compliments, then I can’t accept someone’s attempts to love me. And if I can’t accept their love, then I am ultimately pushing them away; even if this has never been my desire.

The crazy thing is, 9 times out of 10, it’s in these moments that I need their love even more. When I can’t seem to even hear a good word spoken about me, that’s exactly when I need it more. But because my instant reaction is to pull away and hide, I’m depriving myself of the very thing that my soul is aching for. I see myself doing this more and more now. And I can’t seem to stop it.

Why do I do this? What is the cause of all this turmoil? Why can’t I see the value God has placed within me, the treasures He alone has hidden within me for the world to benefit from? Maybe that’s where the fear lies, in the idea that someone else may try to benefit from what I have to offer. It’s the same root of why I despise having people put their expectations on me. I don’t want to be used again.

I don’t want to be emptied out by someone else for their own gain. I don’t want to be drained of who I am, what little worth I feel for myself, by someone else’s desires to please themselves or protect themselves. And I can’t seem to decipher the difference in people. I am not stupid. I know that not everyone wants to take advantage of me and then toss me to the wayside. But enough people have done just that in my life that the fear is very much a real and present issue. And I’m not sure, at my current stage of healing, if I’m in a place yet where I can tell the difference.

It’s things like this that make is so exhausting to be me. I have enough knowledge of myself now to realize that I am doing something that is actually hurting me. But I don’t have enough internal strength to weed out the lies from the truth in the moments when it pops up. It’s like a spot light goes off in my mind saying “this needs to be fixed.” But I don’t yet have the knowledge, or experience, to make it stop. I can often see it afterwards, which is a huge accomplishment for me. I just wish I could see it in the moment.

One day, I will. I know I will. One day I’ll be more healed than I am today. I believe this as truth now because I’m already so much more healed than I was even a year ago, much less several years ago. So, I believe this now. I am changing. I am growing. I am finally developing healthy responses to things and forming intimate relationships with people like I’ve never done before. I know this too will be remedied one day. I just need to focus on how far I’ve already come and accept the fact that I’m still in transformation. I’m still growing. I’ll get there one day.

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