It’s amazing how easy it is for people to smile in your face, laugh with you over the phone and turn around and talk behind your back with the same breath they use to brighten your day. Perhaps the most disheartening part is how they can keep it going with a conscious as long as they “think” you don’t know. The sting is just a little deeper when it’s family. I grew up thinking of family as a soft place to fall-a place where one could be vulnerable without fear of being judged. As I journeyed into adulthood, I found that family can sometimes be worse than strangers. A lesson my mother began trying to teach me shortly before she made her transition. One that I was in denial about for years. Everyone that you love doesn’t have a place in your life outside of what you feel for them in your heart, because no matter how you want to imagine them, you must accept who they are. Sometimes deception has a sweet voice and a smiling face. Being able to discern the difference is critical.

I’m adult enough to admit that I used to be one of those people who talked behind the backs of others. Being able to say “used to”  makes me grateful for the wisdom that I have acquired. The best thing to do is to not associate with people you can’t be genuine with-even if you stand to gain from it. It’s called developing good “character”-something that should never be compromised. 

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