She strode forward to greet me, stopped and remarked in a disappointed tone of voice, “Oh … I always think of you as much younger.”
As he put out his hand to shake mine, he observed, “I see someone’s been giving the scales quite a workout.”
You know, their words were true. I was a few years older and 10 pounds heavier than when I had last seen them. But, how to receive those comments with grace? That was my challenge.
I have learned over the years that there can be several voices rattling around in my head, each eager to put their spin on any situation.
First up with an interpretation was my uber-sensitive teenage self. She was spitting mad that I had just been insulted and dissed – told that I was old and fat.
Then my wiser more mature self took her turn. She suggested that the comments said more about the speakers than they did about me. Perhaps my friends have a few concerns about their own advancing age and expanding waistlines – neither of which have much at all to do with me.
I searched for a voice that genuinely believed their comments were offered with the kindest of intentions in an effort to lovingly express their care and concern about my well being. Nope – not happening! (more…)