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and the belief causes my perception, and then I perceive an image in the mirror. And if I don’t like that image, whose problem is it? I would recommend that everyone spend a lot of time talking with Acceptance, even if you don’t like her at first. Talk to her to the point where you don’t really care if she patches you through to Prosperity or not. I noticed that I started to have a lot more respect for both Faith and Trust. For a while I believed they just sounded a lot like that New Age religion, where everyone hugs, spouts a few well-worn creeds about loving everyone, and then spends the rest of the evening concerned about whether the dairy products actually touched the organic vegetables. Faith and Trust are not only beautiful, but also innocent. And that’s how they want me to be. Innocent, like a child who only lives in the now. So by the time I do get to Prosperity, I have so much love for her, I forget about all those previous judgements I made. Prosperity has dedicated her life to working the help-line. Although she is still way too shy to get an office of her own, I understand that too. You have to coax her, like you would a tiger from its den. I guess this is why one has to talk to Faith, Trust, and Acceptance, before talking to Prosperity. I think Acceptance set it up that way. She’s really inventive. She designed the House of Mirrors at the Company Picnic entrance. It was her that thought everyone should walk through the House of Mirrors before moving on to more interesting things. She’s right, of course, begin every endeavor with a little self-reflection. So having Prosperity be yours, all yours, is an emotion. You have to want and love her first.

Encouragement and Approval Encouragement doesn’t have a phone, or if she does the number is unlisted. I guess it’s because we all really love Encouragement like she was a movie star. I think, if someone like Jodi Foster actually looked me in the eye, and said something about having read my book and really liking it, I would pee down one leg, and instantly become a writer with a total loss of adequate words. “Duh, gee, Ms. Foster, thanks for the words of encouragement.” So although we seldom have the opportunity to actually speak directly to Encouragement, we all still seem to run around looking for her words. Hoping that someone else will use Encouragement’s words. We all love her words.

Encouragement is closely related to Approval. Approval is pretty cool too, but I never quite trust her. I’m never sure if Approval really approves, or if she is really a part time used car salesman. Does Approval really like my dress, or does she just want to sell me that ’96 Saturn with the broken window and seat belt? If Approval is talking, using the words of Encouragement, then it is much easier for me to trust her. I talked to Trust about that, but Trust is a real airhead at times. Encouragement has a definite inner beauty, but most of the time she just hangs around in sweatpants and sweatshirt like the rest of us. Approval, however, is always dressed to the nines. Approval never leaves the house without makeup and every hair in its perfect little place. So if I don’t look like I’m on my way to the Fireman’s Ball, then Approval will make me a little nervous right off. I find it weird that Encouragement gives herself to Approval any time of the day, and they’re only second cousins. And Approval must like Encouragement too, because sometimes she imitates her, using those words. Those wonderful words. They do seem to have a sincerely close relationship. I did talk with Acceptance regarding my feeling towards Approval. Acceptance held up the mirror as usual, but then she did a strange thing. She peered over the top of it and winked. I hardly knew what to make of it at first. I tried to think back to what part of the conversation caused her to wink, and I couldn’t remember. But I think Acceptance winked to imitate Approval, and for a second, only a second, I thought I saw Acceptance with perfect makeup and perfect hair. Perhaps it was only an illusion. Acceptance can be a master at illusion. Sometimes she looks like Faith and Trust, and sometimes she looks like the Wicked Witch of the West. Acceptance did make an interesting statement. She said that I should use the words of Encouragement, to myself. I thought that was a stupid idea at first, but then Acceptance said that if a movie star can spend an entire lifetime speaking scripted dialogue, then why couldn’t I? What if Jodi Foster is only wonderful because she picks scripts with great lines and a strong female lead role? Yeah, it’s a movie in a movie, but somehow, I think that in Jodi’s own personal movie, she speaks similar dialogue. In my personal movie I can say anything I want, because I write my own script. I’m learning not to give a damn if using the words of Encouragement to myself might offend Approval, them being so close and all. If Approval has a problem with it, let her call 1-SLF-AWRENES and talk to Acceptance. That will set her straight.

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