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Praise Shocker


Having just spent a few days at Mom’s house, it is often a treacherous path to navigate not knowing what sudden mood shift (in her) may occur and leave me dangling perilously off the side of a narrow footpath I travel when in her presence, ready to plummet to my own demise.

There were surprisingly no dangerous elements that appeared and the visit was pleasant.  I even experienced an extremely rare phenomenon; praise.

With a bit of dumbfounded shock at receiving praise, momentary silence and confusion stilled my being as I looked in her direction. I soon smiled and replied; Thank you!    My mind reflected on the time that I learned of the concept of ‘modeling’, not where you are photographed and splashed on glossy magazine pages and covers.  The kind of modeling where you behave in a way that sets an example for others (to hopefully imitate).

Many years back, I had taken the approach to compliment and praise mother on her ability to navigate her own difficult life’s journey.   In my family there were never ( that I can recall ) praises or compliments.  When I spoke these kind, supportive words to her that first time she responded by laughing at me, as though she thought I was putting her on or pulling her leg.

I would repeat the kind words over the months and years and she no longer laughed but began to listen, to hear me.  Then, one afternoon I was driving her somewhere while I was staying over for a visit and out of no where she said; ” I am proud of you “.

My mind said, “What?!?”  I felt a deep sense of shock and disbelief as the words lingered in the air within the automobile, I started to question myself at what I just heard and then dismissed my doubts and jumped in with a heartfelt, stunned “thank you.”  Wow!  At 50 y.o. I got what I had always wanted from my mother, praise.  Only wish I hadn’t been behind the wheel and could have crashed from the shock of it all.  It was a real big moment, in my mind and heart.

That ‘modeling’ concept works!

At My Kitchen Window Follow-up


I have been harboring ill feelings towards my gardening neighbor, as described in original post.  Yesterday, a complete shift in my internal dialogue happened and I’m finding it way too easy to beat myself up for the skewed view of life I often nurture.

Elder neighbor mentioned that one of my 2 dogs was crying and having an unusually difficult day following my departure.  She was able to calm and eliminate the verbal distress by talking nice and soothingly through the window, assuring that all was Okay.

Thanking her, I felt like such a heel.  I want to buy her a thank you card and try to remember that all is not as it seems When Things Go Wrong in my head.

 

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