Sometimes being a kid hurts.

And I’m not talking about the triple-skinned knees that Tay got this week. (oh, and they’re bad..the elbow too now.)
t skinned knees
I’m talking about kids being kids – and saying things that stick.

A friend of mine was recalling fourth grade and being teased about something inparticular and she is self conscious of it to this day. Fourth grade! My heart ached for her. I thought we must have known the same jerky kid with a few years inbetween. At my 16th birthday party a boy who I’d had a crush on for four years announced “Wow! You have huge calves!” As if I’d ever thought twice about the back of my legs!? All of a sudden I absolutely did, and I’ve hardly worn shorts or skirts since. Oh sure, I have worn them, but not without hearing his quirky little voice in my head and getting the visual of him pointing at me before I complete the zip and get on with my day.

It never occured to me that what he was saying may have been a compliment (however rare that is from a 16 year old boy?!) Even so, it could be that I just processed it wrong. But I still think of it and have only a few pair of shorts in my closet to prove it…and three skirts, two of which I bought this summer, because I finally thought, “Stupid boy, 12 years and 1300 miles ago, why did (okay, let’s be honest) why DO I listen to you?”

And so, thats what I’m pondering tonight. Why do we let these “tapes” repeat over and over in our heads. And believe what – ultimately – was nothing more than an exclamation. I bet it only stuck because he said it loudly, or because he was my crush. Maybe because I turned in horror to see him pointing at me with his mouth gaping open.

It’s so stupid to use my legs as an example, but I realized – I’m not the only one who does this or thinks of it. I just seem to think this happens to men and women all the time, whether it’s a parent, a coach, a boss, a peer … A lot of us walk around hearing others voices in our heads that repeat negative and untrue things to us and they stick, and they effect us in the choices we make (or don’t make) and our confidence level. I’m talking about bigger drama and trauma than a potentially misconstrued compliment here….so how do we get it to stop? There must be a way to break free from it all…to stop the tapes, and then somehow, to hit erase.

And I feel like saying, “Don’t tell me prayer” only because I think many people use that as a total cop-out answer. Prayer is where I start. And sometimes, someone saying “I’ll pray for you” can be just as bad as them asking “How are you” and if you’ve read my blog you probably know what I mean.

Please don’t think I need prayer for my feelings about that silly boy. Or what he thought of my legs. I’m good. Really. I forgave him for his comment long ago, although if you see him, I’d really like my Harry Connick Jr CD back.

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~ by hthr on July 21, 2007.

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