I just had the funniest phone conversation with Jen, our old marriage counselor, and it left me questioning my sanity but totally affirmed in my purpose. It takes a really good therapist – or friend – to make you think you’re crazy and brilliant all in one phone call.
I had emailed Jen to ask for some clarification on a session I’m writing about for my upcoming ebook. In this particular session, we had talked about symbiotic relationships and the dysfunction that occurs when two people dedicate themselves to making each other happy instead of taking responsibility for their individual happiness. The words she’d spoken to us that day had a huge, long-term impact on our relationship, and it was important to me to get them right when I put them in the book.
She called me this morning and told me she had no clue what I was talking about.
“I know what a symbiotic relationship is, but I would never have compared you to a stomach parasite!” she said.
“You totally did,” I assured her. “And it was awesome.”
“I have absolutely no recollection of ever saying anything like that. Are you sure it was me?”
I was stunned. I can see in my head her speaking the words that caused a great paradigm shift for Jared and I, a shift that helped save our relationship and bring us to a place of happiness together. That session is burned into my brain as clearly as my wedding day.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said. “That was one of the best things you ever said to me. Yes, I am sure. That changed my life, Jen!”
“Maybe I picked it up in a training and just forgot about it after that.”
“I cannot believe you don’t remember this,” I laughed.
“Just goes to show that you never know what will come out of my mouth in therapy!”
We laughed, and she promised to get me something coherent in writing by the end of the week. Before she hung up, she told me that she thought it was fantastic that I was writing a book.
“Really? I feel kind of weird, like I’m saying ‘Well, I went to a ton of therapy, and here’s what I learned, but I’m not actually a therapist.’ You know?”
“You don’t have to be a therapist to write a book about being happy,” she said. “It’s about knowing yourself, and you know all about learning about yourself.”
And then she said something else that will stay with me forever, something she might forget about completely.
“I think you’re brilliant, and you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing right now.”
How cool is that? What a huge vote of confidence from a woman I admire so much.
I hope someone tells you that you’re brilliant today. And I hope you hear them. I hope that you burn their words into your brain so that long after they’ve forgotten they’ve spoken them, they can continue to inspire you.
Maybe you can get the ball rolling by giving a nudge to someone you think is fantastic.