I‘m not perfect. My friends and family would happily tell you that. But it may seem otherwise, from the distance of social media or hiding behind the “Doctor” title.
I practice what I preach, but practicing doesn’t mean doing perfectly.
I try to live in balance, eating whole healthy foods, exercising regularly, getting sleep. But then I still have moments of splurge desserts and sleep past my alarm for the early run. And I still feel like the fat kid of my youth, unwilling to take my shirt off at the end of the run (no matter what I look like now, or how sweaty I am).
I know the best practices for communication in relationships but I still have moments when I don’t tell my wife what’s on my mind. Or I assume. Or, despite 20+ years together, I retain an “anxious attachment style” and am always wondering if she loves me unless I am getting physical or emotional attention. And I “mansplain” all of this to her.
I promote feminism and equality and open acceptance, and I still laugh at inappropriate jokes and I remain reluctant to attend rallies for change.
And, despite my apparent skill at talking to people, I toss and turn and bite my nails in anticipation of meeting new people at cocktail parties and networking events. I can fake it and act the part, but inside I’m asking myself “why are you even talking to me?! Who am I?!”
Most days I feel like this chubby, short, insecure 11 year old boy. And I assume you all see it too and will treat me as such. (See below – circa 1990).
I’m reading Brene Brown, “The Path” by Puett & Gross-Loh, “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” by Bruce Lee, and “Attached” by Levine & Heller. And I find myself needing to own up to my shameful indiscretions and inconsistencies publicly. To attack the shame and overcome my fear of being found out. (I’ve met Albert Ellis and studied his teachings…I can do this!).
So I’m letting you know that we’re all in this together. I have more time in the game, in my personal and professional therapy, in my knowledge of health and human behavior. But that doesn’t mean I’m done, or even that much further ahead of you. We are all doing our best. And some days that doesn’t feel like enough. And I’m trying to lead by example, but part of that example is owning up to the constant need for renewed self motivation. The struggle to sustain the path. Admitting that I’m not “there” yet, wherever the hell there is. Whatever that finish line looks like.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m daring myself to be good enough for you and good enough for me as I am. And maybe, together, we can see each other as imperfect but good enough. And we grow together.
Phew. Off my chest. Not better. Not yet. But trying…