“Tell Me Your Problems”


My first attempt at Photoshop. I ran out of patience to make it look any better.

Ever feel like you have certain phrases tattooed on your forehead?

My sister swears that my mother and I have the same saying, “Tell Me Your Problems.” I happen to believe it can also change to “Tell Me Your Life Story” or “No, Really, Vent.”

Why I have this on my forehead, I will never know. It just seems to appear at random times; like when I was shopping a few months ago, a store employee asked me if I was finding everything.  My reply of “Yes, I’m fine” was somehow the go-ahead for said employee to tell me about his family medical history, military history, and life story. I think some form of “God bless you” was my ending to the conversation. There are several other times that random people have bestowed upon me personal knowledge which I will never use for their benefit.

But then there are the times where it’s beneficial for this invisible-to-me tattoo to appear.

I work for a person who has a terminal illness. A few days ago, the tattoo appeared, and I found myself the privileged recipient of someone who needed to peel another layer off the onion regarding events in his formative years. Rather than feigning interest, as I did with the store employee, I tried to encourage openness. He’s someone who doesn’t share easily, so I knew this might be my only chance. I didn’t pry, but I also said leading statements or open-ended questions that wouldn’t kill the conversation.

I thought about my tattoo, but somehow, I didn’t loathe it that day. I wasn’t an empty sounding board or someone’s target. I needed to be reminded that my job isn’t always about housework and tasks in daily life. My job is to open my heart and listen. I’m reminded that there is a need in each of us to understand and know. To reconcile our past and impact the future for the better.

As with life, some days it’s good and full of laughter. Some days are boring, and others are just hard. I guess if you’re having a hard day, pray that you run into me on the street. God has a way of making my tattoo appear for whomever needs it the most.

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  1. Trackback: Matushka to the Rescue | tallrayofsunshine

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