************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

writing Exercise Submissions - Relationship Comparison

This week's writing suggestion was a little complicated. Maybe that's why there was only one submission, besides mine. Thank you Menancy for posting your well-though-out submission.

This exercise was to be done in two parts - the first part was to be written before seeing what part two would bring. I found this somewhere on the web about a week ago, and that's when I wrote mine.

Part one is to write  about another person. It could be anyone as long as it's someone who is in your life right now. This should only be one to three paragraphs long, and should include your first impression of the person -  what drew you to this relationship in the first place as well as how the person makes you feel, now. Also include defining traits about the person - physical, emotional, spiritual, mental - and any little quirks that stand out.

Part two: Using what you wrote in the first part, compare the other person to yourself. Looking at the traits you listed, are there any traits you have in common? Are there any which you wish you had? Are there any which you used to have but don't anymore - and are these things you miss or are glad you've overcome? Has anything rubbed off from them to you, or from you to them?

The idea is to look at how your relationships help you grow. There is a school of thought that each relationship we have is there for a purpose, that we are constantly learning and teaching important lessons in every ongoing relationship. People come into our lives and some stay for a brief time, others stay for a long time, but always, there is a reason. What lessons are you learning and teaching in the relationship with the person you chose? Are you allowing the lesson to unfold or walking through life without noticing the important things going on around you?

Here is Menancy's submission:

My first impression: I thought this person was nice enough, but a little ‘flaky’, off the wall. It was hard to know exactly from where they were coming. I thought they like to talk a lot. At the same time, the advice made sense and seemed the right thing to do.

What drew me to the relationship: Well, the first time I saw her was with my husband to learn to parent an “adult child”. Of course, going together did not last, because there is “nothing wrong with him and he does not need help.” So, I continued to go. And I started talking about myself and some of my problems. I don’t know…I just kept going back. I was afraid. I did not want to trust another therapist again. It was like she “knew” me. She was very knowledgeable in many aspects of healing. She was/is intriguing. She is of Native American Heritage. She has been through a lot of pain.

How I feel now: I grew to trust her enough to stop seeing my other therapist. I still vacillate between trusting and not trusting. However, I have not been seeing her for that long and it surprises me that I trust her as much as I do. She believes that we all have different parts of the self. She has done a lot of work on her own issues, especially in psychodrama. I admire her tenacity. She is truly a “Warrior”. She is a very strong advocate for ALL women.

COMPARISON: Well, now here is a surprise!! I am certainly a little ‘flaky’ and off the wall. I too believe that we have different parts of the self. I have done twenty two years of therapy, so I have worked a lot on my issues also.

There are so many characteristics I admire in her and would love to have just a few of them. She is self-sufficient. She supports herself now. She is creating a new life for herself, without her husband. She is not afraid to be her own person. She tells it like it is.

Because of her situation (which I cannot divulge) I was able to ask forgiveness from her for things in the past that I could not go back and ask for from the people that I had covertly hurt. This touched her more than I ever would have imagined. Her eyes had tears in them. She thanked me and told me that I was wise and that “I got it”. Me--wise? Unimaginable!!!

I have allowed her to open my mind about so many different philosophies and healing techniques. The list seems endless!

Wow Shen, this was awesome. Thank you so much. An eye-opener for me!!!!
(You are so welcome, and I'm really glad if it was helpful :-))

And here is my submission. (I doubt it’s a surprise to anyone here that I chose C for this writing exercise.)

Part One:

My first impression of her:
She was both strong and gentle. She was confident, but far from arrogant. She was several inches shorter and about ten years older than I am. She also exuded empathy. This was almost too much for me… almost. For someone like me who has a hard time trusting, that kind of sympathetic attention was overwhelming, at first, but this is also a big piece of what kept me coming back. The other thing that most impressed me was her stillness. I’ve rarely been in close contact with someone who can be so calm. She listened intently, with interest, seeming to hear every word I said.

Now, I still feel heard, but I also feel known, understood and safe because I know her. I feel as if I can handle things because I know I don’t have to do them alone until I’m ready. I have come to understand that the stillness comes from her strong spiritual connection. She seems to be connected all the time, which is something I’m learning from being with her.

In thinking about quirks, two things come to mind. I smile as I picture her pulling her large bag behind her. She has one of those bags on wheels and it’s always overflowing with stuff. Sometimes she has cut flowers from her garden on top, or fruit or a plastic bottle of some kind of healthy beverage. The other thing is her sudden laugh, which has surprised me on more than one occasion.

 Part Two:

Wow, this is going to be hard.

Strong but gentle? Yes. I think I am those things. I can be very strong when I need to be – I’ve gone through some tough stuff and I can be strong, but I think I’m also gentle.
Confident? Not so much… although that is getting better.
As I said, I’m much taller than she is.
I think of myself as being sympathetic.
I can be a good listener, but only when I’m not lost in my own stuff. I would like to be more like her in that sense.

The stillness… that is something I’m working towards, but I don’t believe I can claim that trait as mine.
What of mine has rubbed off on her? That’s hard. I know there are things I’ve written which she has asked to give to other clients… I doubt it is anything new to her, but sometimes I can say things in a way that makes it understood. Once, she gave me something I’d written about a year earlier. That was funny. She said she didn’t remember where she got it but she thought it would help me. It was the piece I wrote called “Step Zero”. I looked at it and told her I’d written something by that name, once… and then I said, “This is it.”

But a lot of her is rubbing off on me. I have gained so much from her, but the biggest piece is the spiritual one. While I needed (and still need) a lot of help getting through my issues from the past, the biggest gift she’s given me is letting me understand that God is not just for other people. I didn’t believe that… I really thought it was not for me, and knowing it’s okay to have that connection and that it’s always there has changed my perception of just about everything.


Whew, I got it posted before Tuesday is over. I'm going to be back to more regular blogging soon. The wedding countdown is at eleven days... after that, I should have more time to focus on all the things I've been putting off.


  1. This was a very interesting piece. It reminds me that so many times in life, the student becomes the teacher and the teacher becomes the student. I believe we all have the opportunity to become each to the other.

  2. Shen, I enjoyed reading your post. It is very insightful. It amazes me how much the right therapist can help. I have not been with my current T for very long...maybe 6 months. I was with my previous one for twenty years...it went 'south' in a bad way. I am still hurting from feeling abandoned. But, working through it with my new T. I am changing so fast with her, my entire world feels like it is spinning out of control. But, that is not entirely bad.
    Sorry, I am rambling!
    Anyway, take care and good luck with the wedding. I feel certain you will do fine, but I am sure you will be glad when the 'stress' is over.


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