I got this amazing email today, and I wanted to share its spirit with you – I am continuously reminded how good people can be, and I hope this unexpected continuation on “True You” makes you feel as good as it does me. This message was sent in response to “True You, ” by Janet Jackson (part 1 of 3). My response will be part 3.
“Hey young man,
Read your blog. Found myself, as always with anything you write, impressed by your insightfulness, and also a tiny bit sad having glimpsed just a little of the issues that you’ve struggled with over the years and which still inform, and to a certain extent, dictate your decisions and choices even today. I guess I feel that way because I empathize strongly with your predicament. Maybe that’s why I’m so pleased that I got the chance to get to know you. Maybe it’s what compelled me to contact you in the first place; I think perhaps, despite the very obvious differences between us, I sense a kindred spirit.
“My early years were very topsy-turvy on many levels. It left a deep and lasting mark on me and skewed how I saw myself and how I felt others perceived me. I think it’s what led me to make the few and poor boyfriend choices I did, and why even now, I still don’t entirely trust my own judgment on that score and why a lot of the time I use avoidance as my coping strategy!
“It is a challenge every day not to be my own harshest critic, to be pleased with what I’ve achieved that day and not berate myself for what I HAVEN’T achieved. To learn to graciously accept a compliment without immediately looking for an ulterior motive in the person who’s giving it. To value my uniqueness and not compare myself to others.
“Damage to your self esteem at an early age is not a life long disability, but I think it requires life long rehabilitation.
“I think that’s why, despite it not being what I may have chosen to study had my early years turned out differently, nursing has turned out to be my salvation in some respects. And it’s probably the same reason you are the amazing escort you are. What you say in your advert speaks volumes. You talk about liking people, about although not being a therapist you hope there’s a therapeutic element to your meetings. You hope they get more out of a meeting with you than what they invested from their wallet. You would like to see the same person on many occasions. You don’t like anonymity. That the meetings are less about the sex and more about what it means for a person to be with a person.
“It’s the trials you’ve faced and your ability to deal with adversity that makes you the insightful, empathetic, multifaceted person that you are. And I think that people who have experienced real challenges in their life; who understand how painful and difficult life can be, can sometimes have a deep rooted need to help other people through their experiences. I’ve thought about why that might be so, and I think it might be because although we had no control over the situation that damaged us, we CAN exert some control over someone else’s situation and that feeling of empowerment is really important. But also there is the simple truth that every time we help someone else, we are in effect helping ourselves. In helping other people find coping strategies, we are proving to ourselves that there are ways in which we can implement positive change in our own lives. And if these people succeed, then so can we.
“I suspect it’s one of the reasons Janet Jackson wrote her book.
“In ‘The Prophet,’ Kahlil Gibran writes about self knowledge by saying, ‘Your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge. You would know in words, that which you have always known in thought.’
“And I believe that’s true, isn’t it? Janet’s book hasn’t told you anything you didn’t already know. It’s simply confirmed it. But it makes us feel better knowing that someone else, especially if it’s someone we really admire, has been through a similar experience and it gives us the confidence and the will to keep trying.
“And that’s why I told you the other day that your potential takes my breath away at times. I know that when you’re feeling low you don’t believe all the good things people are telling you. But that’s when it’s most important that you hear them.”
A friend who prefers not to be named.