Have you presented a gift (better yet, a handmade one) to someone you loved, but you didn’t receive the praise or validation you thought you deserved?
I tend to seek out validation from others. My hubby says I need to stop worrying about what others think. He’s right. Gulp. And I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
A good friend shared the following story. You’ll to have to read to the end to find out what life lesson she gleaned.
I calculated the number of scrabble tiles I’d need to fit into the hand-picked frame. I double checked my calculations. Check! I glued down the last tile. After months of tedious work, I and my framed masterpiece embarked on an eight-hour journey.
Arriving at the dinner party with the gift tucked under my arm, I smiled at the friends and family showering Mom and Dad with congratulatory slaps and hugs. We’d all gathered to celebrate their sixty years of wedded bliss.
My heart swelled. I was proud that my parents managed to stay married despite their financial struggles, health scares, and of course, raising three children who caused a lot of grief. And I was definitely proud of the masterpiece I was about to present.
I handed the gift over to Mom, and a lump formed in my throat. Dad peered over her shoulder. It was like I was handing off my firstborn.
I grabbed my camera, aimed, and waited for the grand unveiling. Paper crinkled. Mom tore into the wrapping paper. Click!
As Mom’s gaze studied my handiwork, Dad didn’t even blink. Seconds turned into minutes.
At last, Mom cleared her throat. “Oh, that’s nice, dear.” She wrinkled her nose like she was staring at the paper chain I’d made in grade one. “Who showed you how to do that?”
Didn’t she think I was capable of making anything worthwhile? Was that all she could say? And Dad! He didn’t say a word!
We arrived back at their home, along with my damaged heart and the masterpiece. After my parents retreated for the night, I hung the framed piece in the living room.
My ears rang. Broken glass littered the floor. The frame cracked. At least the superglue and the excessive tape I’d used kept the tiles intact. After I cleaned up the mess, I stole away to a framing store to have it remounted.
Before I left the next day, I told Mom to pick up her masterpiece in three days.
As far as I know, my masterpiece still hangs in their living room.
Despite my friend’s parents’ lack of enthusiasm, my friend recounted how happy she was that she’d presented a masterpiece made with love. She also realized the joy was in the giving and that she wasn’t responsible for how her parents reacted.
She said, “Someone else’s reaction should not be my validation. I can’t control how others react.”
How have you reacted when someone didn’t respond the way you had hoped?
Have a Blessed and Happy Easter
“Winter is past, the rain has stopped, flowers cover the earth, it’s time to sing.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (CEV)
P.S. If you want to receive my free posts by email, just enter your email address in the box under “Sign Me Up!” or check off the box after you leave marvelous comments!
Don’t forget to join me on my Facebook page.
P.P.S. Click on Matilda’s notebook below, and you’ll be swept into my Whimsical Shop!