Massage Tales

Take this Compliment. Take it!

I think I’m pretty good at what I do, and sometimes I’ll even say this to people.  But sometimes the intensity of someone’s gratitude catches me off guard.

A while back I had a client — patient — in a medical facility.  A person facing a chronic, critical illness where treatment caused debilitating side effects, up to and including time spent in hospitals.  I was one of several appointments she had that day.  She struck me as a practical woman — plain-spoken, realistic and unsentimental about her troubles.  And out of the blue she said:

“The treatment is worth it for this massage.” 

A compliment so intense it almost paralyzed me.  How could my little massage justify such discomfort?

I know hyperbole when I hear it.  I know what she said was not strictly, literally true.  I also know that the truth in it had enough gratitude in it (from her, to me) to make me question whether I deserved it.  But who am I, in the midst of all her setbacks, to offer her another setback by questioning her experience?  Better, I think, to try my best to gracefully, gratefully, accept her compliment.

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