I was deep into a conversation with my roommate. I had been reading aloud from her French bible to practice. Reading my favourite verses in French and then sharing why I loved them in English.
I'm so excited to have a French roommate. She is lovely and kind and it's so fun to be learning bits of French. One of my long term life goals is fluency so she's perfect to get me on my way!
I was grabbing some water from the sink when she told me I was wonderful.
I disputed her. I shook my head, and smiled my I'm uncomfortable smirk.
I sat on the floor with my glass of water and expected the conversation to continue as it had been: French filled and lovely.
She said, "Can I ask you a hard question"?
I frowned, as I tend to do when I recognize where a conversation is heading and nodded.
Side note, does anybody else do this? I’ve realized this after having multiple roommates who are excellent at speaking truth. My tendency is to frown, raise my voice (something I generally don’t like to do) and say I know when someone I love is speaking hard truth to me.
In her beautiful French way, she asked, “Why do you do that? Lower what I say? It is because you want me to dispute you or do you not believe me?"
I thought about it, unsure, slowly answered and we chatted about this for a while. When I say we, I mean she said deep and hard and strong, and the good kind of painful truth to me.
I shared that compliments are hard for me to receive. Oh really Nadine? No duh.
An hour prior, I had been pondering how I want to stop disputing complements and simply take and receive them. Apparently I’d forgotten my own resolve by the time she complimented me.
Back in December, someone told me that when I dispute the things my friends say to me, I'm calling the other speaker a liar. I'm telling them that their words don't have value.
My roommate spoke about how I am a reflection of Christ.
How the goodness in me is a reflection of Him. Why dispute that?
Sometimes I want to tie up my writings with pretty bows, bows called "I have learnt this and can move on". Yet that seems silly since I rarely move past things. I might learn something today that tomorrow will be deepened, the day after lessened, and the day after deepened again. And then soon probably lessened because I tend to take a billion days to learn a lesson.
So this has no bow. I still dispute. It's natural. It's my tendency. But I want to believe that the words people at have truth. And I don’t think something being natural means right. I believe that I need to change this natural tendency. I believe it is not healthy. I know that even if I forget more often than remember, I do have value.
What about you? Do you agree when somebody compliments you? Why don’t we just take them as truth? Why don’t I? Do you? How do you do it without stroking your ego? These are my genuine questions.