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Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 06:22 pm PDT

Living the Legend

General NewsWhat do you believe about yourself?
What do you believe about the most important people in your life?
....Are you sure you are right?

One particular issue has tangled me and my relationships up for years. But in a recent late-night conversation about that issue, I heard the response, "I've been telling you X (the thing I want) for years, but it's like you don't believe I think that."

I don't trust easily, and if trust is broken, it is very hard for me to restore. But sometimes people do deserve our trust. They see things in us, good things that we don't know for ourselves. It can frustrate us if we think they are making something of us that we are not. My time in the Middle East did a real number on my understanding of what it is to be a woman, and I've spent years avoiding that pigeon hole. But the smartest thing I've done recently was to get personal feedback from a number of friends, and I discovered something interesting.

One of the things that makes me a good fiction writer is my ability to create a character or persona. I understand what pieces fit and how conflicts coexist. A person without conflict is boring at best and psychopathic at worst. So when my friends started describing myself to me, I realized those things I avoided were actually wrong for my character to neglect. Their absence put me out of balance; their presence belongs with the strong person I've become.

And so my current "project" is to rewrite the character in my head. We usually believe it is difficult to change ourselves, but we typically try to change our actions and hope the thoughts follow. I'm reversing that.

Decide who you are. Write it down, evaluate it, change the description to fit the person you are meant to be. Then act like it.

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