I have never been very good at receiving compliments. It's a bad habit and I don't recommend it.
Not that I can't respond with some obligato "thank you," but I have never been very good at letting the expressed perspective permeate within and refresh my own perspective. I can assimilate criticism without batting an eyelash -- searching around for what I assume is the truth -- but it's not the same with compliments.
Today, after zazen, Nick and I were walking back from the zendo towards his car when he said with a smile, "You're a kool dude. You really are. There aren't many guys who tell things like they are."
Somehow, before my knee-jerk defensive parry kicked into action, I let his words sink in. Since I don't have very good perspective about myself, I appreciate it when someone gives me their point of view. Today, it just seeped in ... what if it were true or anyway true from Nick's perspective? Maybe I was, somehow, a kool dude and not just some inconsequential dud.
Somehow it seeped in and it wasn't as dangerous as I had previously thought. Being a kool dude for a moment was kind of fun, kind of pleasing. It was like putting my head down on a soft pillow ... how marvelously, deliciously soft! And then it was time for sleep.
I was never trained well to accept or credit praise. Others, often to their detriment, are much better equipped.
Today, it was fun for a small moment to try out/bask in another perspective.