Sometimes We Forget How We Changed The World

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.

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  1. Megan says:

    It’s always wonderful to hear that you’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life. Imagine how many more lives you will make a difference in with this book. :)
    Megan’s most recent post: Steak & Cheese

  2. daniel says:

    Good for you (and her – but mostly you). I wouldn’t compare my relationship to … well, maybe. Point is, you have forward momentum. You seem excited about where you are headed. I’m very glad for you.
    daniel’s most recent post: 2 Toddler Riddles

  3. Dory says:

    You ARE brilliant. In both the smart way AND the sparkly way.

  4. I love that. I’m always amazed what people remember and keep- college friends who say “remember that advice you gave me” or “I still have that ___ that you gave me”. I never remember, at all. But it does remind me how much a little thing can impact a life- and to be careful to make those memories good ones for other people (even if I don’t remember them).
    Eleanor’s Trousers’s most recent post: Step One- Handle My Money

  5. Lisa says:

    You are brilliant and I love you.
    Lisa’s most recent post: So I Went to Pittsburgh

  6. Naomi says:

    YOU are awesome … and Jen sounds phenomenal! :)
    Naomi’s most recent post: Box 53b

  7. What I love about you, Britt, is how you can take the simplest of thoughts and turn them into life-changing ones. It was greatly inspiring to read this today. :)
    Sulagna – Keep your relationship exciting’s most recent post: Of Men, Women, Taxis and Friday Evenings…

  8. Jeanne says:

    Your post reminded me of a great (short) video I saw last year. We should all try harder to let people know the kind of impact their words and actions have on our lives! If you have a few minutes, I think you’ll enjoy the video. J

  9. Amber says:

    All too often we have no idea of the positive impact we have on others. We’re quick to lay (and accept) blame, but not so quick when it comes to credit.
    Amber’s most recent post: The iPad Mini and the Enviro-Mama

  10. Joan Casey says:

    Amazing.. Both of you are amazing people… :D

    I remember this line from a tv show i watched…
    “We can’t help but wonder how much difference one person makes in the world. We look inside ourselves, questioning if we have the capacity for heroism and greatness. But the truth is, every time we take an action, we make an impact. Every single thing we do has an effect on the people around us. Every choice we make sends ripples out into the world. Our smallest acts of kindness can cause a chain reaction of unforeseen benefits for people we’ve never met. We might not witness those results, but they happen all the same.”

    —- Jake Bohm (Touch 2012)

    Just wanted to share with everyone.. :)
    whoever reads this pls view my blog if u have spare time :)

    Im only 19 years old and I live in a third world country and I hope to inspire other people because life is amazing :)

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