When I was eight years old, I remember getting ready for my birthday party. My mother brushed my long, brown hair and let me pick out my own dress. Of course I chose my favorite dress which was cardinal red with navy roses scattered randomly on the material. Confidence oozed from my eyes, and my excitement could not be contained. I ran out into our yard and saw the gorgeous decorations and my delicious cake. I thought nothing could ruin my day at that moment, but I was erroneous. My Aunt Brenda and my cousin Tylene arrived before everyone. Tylene is just five days older than I so my mother decided we should share the party. The idea was okay with me because I adored her. Soon, family members and close friends arrived. After a few a minutes of greeting everyone, we decided to open presents. Tylene ripped hers open first and was delighted until I opened mine. Although she got various presents, I received several more and she began to sob. Brenda rushed to her side to console her and she wailed, “She ruined my birthday because she got more presents than me!” Stepping back into my mother’s arms, I began to weep because I had no idea what was occurring.
“You little snobby girl,” Brenda shouted at me.
My mother pushed me awa...
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...thless,” my therapist calmly said. That was the first time I made complete eye contact with anyone in years. My therapist noticed my hopeful eyes and said, “I’m going to give you an important piece of advice. Turn all the negative criticism you have received into motivation.”
I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Use negative comments as motivation? At such a young age, I received the most magnificent advice. I thought back to every hurtful comment and this time I felt empowered. I went home that day as a completely different person. The questions in mind faded away and my doubt disappeared. Was I worth the air I breathed? Yes. A smart and wonderful person was worthy of oxygen. My head elevated and my eyes glistened. Brenda was wrong. I could do anything with my life and I needed to thank her for the encouragement. My life did a complete flip in just one day.
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