I DREAM'D in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;

I dream'd that was the new City of Friends;

Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love—it led the rest;

It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city, And in all their looks and words.

Walt Whitman

Looking to others to stroke your ego is a losing battle. Frankly, it is not the job of family, friends, romantic partners or even colleagues to make you feel good about yourself. Likewise, it is not your job to stroke anyone’s ego. Through the development of a strong sense of self, seeking praise and compliments from others will no longer be necessary. In fact, sometimes praise and compliments are a means to manipulate and it is important to have mechanisms in place to protect yourself from that.

Sometimes, creative expression can assist with difficult emotions. Some people paint and some people compose music, while some people write. Most certainly, there are a wide array of creative acts employed to deal with a variety of emotions.  For me, storytelling can be a form of release.  In this case, I used storytelling as a means to move through the challenging emotions of grief.