"See Paris First"

My favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?


You need the kind of friend

who learns your secret and says,

“see Paris first.”


This is a line from a poem by Marsha Truman Cooper called Fearing Paris. It talks about avoiding painful triggers and darkness. I have come to realize that pain does not cause trauma, but unwitnessed pain causes trauma. That is also the source of shame. I have also learned that our genius is inside our wounds. It is inside our fears, our stories, and our pain where we find meaning.



When we are offered a safe space to use our voice and speak about our experiences, pain is no longer a source of shame, but becomes wisdom; invisible gifts that can help the community. It is in the act of service that we find healing. It is the core of 12 step programs, to be of service. It is at the core of ritualistic cultures, to share your gift and wisdom.


We must begin to believe in invisible gifts again. We must begin to approach darkness without the negativity that we have placed in it. It is within darkness that our heart beats. Darkness and fear do not have to be explored alone. Once we get over the impression and belief that we are alone, we are able to receive support and healing. This is how I imagine a community renaissance and our ability to support, guide, and heal as a whole. We all need a friend who sees our secret and says, “See Paris first.”

What is your life lesson quote?

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