where the writers are
HARDEN me Not

I think I was a challenging child.

I remember constantly being told "why can't you just...".
I had trouble going with the flow.

I often ended up in the wrong side of things having gone against the grain of norm.

I was not aggressive, just difficult I guess.  I hated that I heard others talk about me with complaint and exasperation.

I don’t recall being complemented much or appreciated for anything I’ve done while growing up.  I remember more being scolded or told to follow or simply to do better.

I barely passed high school and took the quick route out of college, I was selectively sociable and I hid around a lot of situations.  I always felt that there was something different about me that others had trouble understanding.

Maybe that explains why I seem distant or indifferent or uninterested.  I just had trouble fitting myself in comfortably.

As a result, I have to admit that I have trouble receiving kind words.  I'm not quite used to how it feels.

I get embarrassed when a compliment is paid my way because as a young child I never learned how to receive them.

When my mentor praises me with encouraging words I stiffen with shyness.

Once over lunch my sister spoke out loud saying she’s been told how talented I am with painting.  I was caught so off guard I immediately changed the subject pretending I did not hear her.

The compliment was so big I did not know how to embrace or hold it in.

When people tell me they think I write very well, something inside of me begins to feel queasy.  When a client told me that there was something about my disposition that encouraged openness I wanted to hide under the table.

Do I deserve such humbling compliments?  I catch myself shaking my head in amazement.  Somebody out there actually sees right through me!

I think that I still carry a deep scar within me from growing up.  Only now I am slowly learning to soften up.

I am learning to accept compliments and gratitude without feeling shamed.  “You deserve all that comes your way” as I am often told now.

It’s hard to soften up after so many years of holding it all in.  I am surrounded by like minds nowadays paying me with goodness that I think I deserve.

I worked hard to come out of my shell.  Still a little stiff on the outside but hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to embrace mush.