Last month my husband announced that he was really excited about the Valentine’s gift he’d purchased for me. This was pretty shocking because A: He isn’t necessarily the best gift giver around. Make no mistake, he is one of the most generous humans I know, but in terms of actually researching a gift ahead time, well, it’s just not his love language. And B: I haven’t ever, not once in thirteen years, received a Valentine’s gift from him because that holiday also happens to be his birthday. Beyond a hurried grab for overpriced flowers on the way home, I don’t usually get a gift.
When it finally arrived it was with much pomp and circumstance. Hold out your hand and close your eyes he told me. Then he dropped the bracelet in the photo above into my palm and I just blinked at it in shock.
Because you collect bracelets he said, referring to the jewelry that I never take off. And because you’ve been working so hard training for the marathon, I wanted you to know how proud of you I am. I kept staring down at the bracelet in my hand, and then I started crying and I couldn’t stop. First of all, that he’d been thoughtful enough to add to my bracelet collection was beyond sweet. But the fact that he had it inscribed with a meaningful quote, to commemorate my training and his pride in my accomplishments was such an incredible gift. I put the bracelet on along with all the others and I’ve looked at it often over the last month.
One day during a run (which is when I do all my thinking) I looked down at my wrist and the oddest thought entered my head. What if he really means it? I was so struck by the fact that the question even entered my mind that I forced myself to really focus on where my head was at. If you asked me about my husband, I would tell you that he is my greatest cheerleader, literally my tallest and most supportive fan. He tells me every single day that I am pretty, or smart, or a good mother, or sexy, or accomplished and most often, that he is so so proud of me. But if I’m being honest with myself, I tend to let those words roll off my back like water. I think this is because, most compliments roll off my back. I’m pretty hard on myself and I rarely take the time to stop and appreciate any accomplishment because I’m hurrying off to try and achieve the next thing. I understand this isn’t a healthy mentality, and believe me, I’ve spent hours in therapy talking through why that is. But as self aware as I think I am, it hadn’t ever occurred to me that I was brushing off my husband’s compliments. I would thank him definitely, but I just assume he’s saying that because he’s my husband and he’s supposed to. I never let them sink in… I never let them stick. When I mentioned this epiphany to Dave he blinked at me like a confused owl… of course I mean it when I say these things he said I don’t say them for me, I say them because I want you to know they’re true!
Man, can we just sit with that comment for a minute everyone? Can we all just ask ourselves if too often we don’t take in the compliment because we assume it’s given frivolously? What if it’s not? What if they’re saying that because they want you to know that it’s true? What if you are truly beautiful, kind, funny, sweet, the best cook he’s ever known, the best mom in the world, her truest friend, a thoughtful sister, the sexiest woman he’s ever seen? What if you are really all of those things, but you’re not allowing yourself to feel that love? I hope you’ll take the time to consider this, I hope it doesn’t take a bracelet to make you realize that you are loved and worthy and so so special in the lives of those who care about you. ~Rachel