Saturday, May 2, 2009

Listen to a friend even though it isn't easy

Listen to a friend even though it isn't easy. That's the fortune I received from a Chinese fortune stick at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden . With respect to my upcoming divorce, my friends have been giving me lots of advice. Most of which I haven't been following because it's hard to do what they suggest. And I manage to convince myself that they don't really understand my situation and that's why their advice isn't right for me.

So this afternoon I happened to have a talk with another friend who just happens to be a therapist and a really smart lady. And she gave me some interesting advice that will probably be really hard for me to follow. She hasn't known me long - six weeks I think - but she said that when I talk about myself, I present myself by talking about what other people say about me. It almost doesn't matter what it is - it could be about my personality, my clothes, the way I raise my kids - it almost all comes out as a reflection of what other people say. For example, I'll talk about the fact that I don't wear much make up and say that my mom always tells me that I should wear lipstick more often. Or I'll comment that I'm not very observant and then say that my husband always tells me that. She said "I don't care about what other people say about you. I just want to know who you are."

She's right. I think of myself in terms of what other people think of me so it's not surprising that I present myself that way. At first I was inclined to dismiss her advice, like all the other good advice I've been getting because it's hard to change. But then I looked at the little white slip of paper with my fortune on it. Listen to a friend even though it isn't easy.

I have molded myself to the reflection I see in other people's eyes. I'm like a light colored building that has turned black from years of sitting in soot-filled air. What I need is a good sandblasting. It'll be like a chemical peel for my personality.
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