It’s a rainy day outside and all is wrong in the world. Dorothy is upset with her business accountant and I myself have managed to get stuck in my back. This calls for some delicious pampering and expert massage hands to loosen up those tensed muscles.
“Darling, you know the problem with gratitude?” Dorothy looks at me.
“Yes, people get defensive when you tell them they should be more grateful.” I tell her.
“Why is that?” Dorothy wants to know.
“I think the main issue that comes to play is that we are also ambitious and our oversized ego thinks that gratitude means settling for less.” I read that somewhere in an article that made perfect sense.
“It’s hard to find out who you are and what you want.” Dorothy remarks. “To connect deeply with your heart, understand its desires and clear a path to realise your dreams.”
“Very true. It’s only when we can appreciate what we already have in our life that we can invite even greater abundance into our lives.” I tell her.
“So in this case ‘fake it till you make it’ won’t help.” Dorothy ponders.
“I doubt that would be very effective. You’d actually be lying to yourself. Playing the manipulative games of the ego.” I start to muse.
“Yes, like my cousin Shizzalot‘s fake boobs.” Dorothy goes on.
“Or like your ex-boyfriends fake boobs.” I giggle, but then I stop in my tracks. “Huh… Wait a minute, how did you make that u-turn? You can’t just change the subject all of a sudden like that.”
“I can… It’s just I was wondering whether she would be grateful for having fake boobs.” Dorothy insists.
“I think she is. And pretty damn proud of them too. She asked me to touch them once, you know.” I squirm as I remember the incidence. “But I’m sure it adds to her overall self-confidence and improves her self-image. A bit like myself after I had my teeth capped. I can’t stop smiling and flashing my pearly whites at everyone.”
“So re-inventing yourself is actually re-inventing your self-image?” Dorothy goes on.
“Yes, I think so. It’s part of getting what you really want instead of just settling for what you think you deserve.” I tell her. “By reinventing yourself, you can start to create a positive, powerful, sparkling, radiant presence that announces to the world how much you love yourself and your life.”
“Ugh, that almost sounds negative though.” Dorothy points out. “People actually use that as a pejorative remark. ‘Just look at her. She loves herself!’ Especially in the UK.”
“That’s right. I think I’ve only ever heard that sarcastic remark from people in the UK.” I confirm. “How judgemental people can be. But just imagine how powerful it is if you can shape your own experience into lasting excitement, happiness and fulfilment. And the only thing you have to do is ignore the stupid people who tell you it’s wrong to love yourself.”
“You could be right.” Dorothy tries out hesitantly. “Your self-image is after all a combination of who you are, what you think of yourself and how you expect to be treated.”
“Yes and if you allow people to treat you as somebody who doesn’t love herself, then what happens?” I question her. “You end up feeling tired, shabby and low, that’s what. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.”
“Me too.” Dorothy chimes in. “So happy I’m no longer living a life in those dreary circumstances. Pining away for those few bright spots amongst the daily monotony.”
“We know better, don’t we darling.” I wink at her.
“So just to come back to my cousin Shizzalot.” Dorothy is changing the subject again. “Do you think she’s faking it?”
“Not a clue.” I confess. “But I sure hope she’s enjoying her huge bosom.”
“I know my ex-boyfriend is enjoying his big boobs.” Dorothy continues. “He strokes them in a lewd way and then says he has the most beautiful boobs of the entire country.”
“Your ex-boyfriend is narcissistic.” I comment. “Amongst other things.”
“Hmmm, yes.” Dorothy nods. “Have you ever noticed though how Shizzalot always acts like she’s in some Hollywood movie. Her facial expressions and ready-made one-liners.”
“Yes, I have noticed her doing that.” I go on to say. “It must be a strategy that works for her.”
“So shallow though.” Dorothy says purposefully. “I don’t think I’ve had one significant conversation with her since the day I got married.”
“You did when you got divorced though.” I point out again. “You see, every person fulfills their purpose when the time is right.”
“Timing is everything.” Dorothy muses. “Yes, maybe I wasn’t on the right page either all that time.”
“Darling, don’t judge your personal success by comparing yourself with the accomplishments of your peers as a yardstick. The grass is always greener, you know.” I tell her. “Some people realise their dreams as youngsters while others flourish only in old age. If you take pride in your many accomplishments and make the most of every circumstance in which you find yourself, your time will come.”
“Hmmm, I’ll remind you of this next time you complain about your fantastic man having commitment issues.” Dorothy gives me the evil eye.
“I don’t complain. I’m enjoying my freedom.” I defend myself.
“Yes, you do. Until one of your friends decides to move in with her boyfriend. Or another friend gets a ring and a proposal.” Dorothy wants me to react. “That’s when you start complaining about all the things you don’t have.”
“Okay, touchée. I do do that.” I admit petulantly. “But that’s also because I haven’t figured out yet what I want from my intimate relationships. I haven’t had the example of a succesful marriage, you know. I wouldn’t for the life of me know what a healthy relationship looks like. So I can’t imitate it nor can I copy it.”
“Does anyone know the secret recipe?” Dorothy ponders.
What do you think? What does a healthy relationship look like? Let me know in the comments below.