July 3rd, 2015 § Leave a Comment
I’m always working on myself. Mostly, I’m not content with who I am. Come to think of it, I’ve never been content. Whether it was spending countless hours on the basketball court to get my jump shot right or burning out the blow dryer to get my mullet into that feathered perfection, I’ve always worked hard at becoming a better me.
If this sounds like a confession, it’s because it is. I have to clarify because our culture loves self-improvement. Get educated. Get ahead. Get thin. Get healthy. Get married. Get financially independent. Get happy. Work, work, work. More, more, more. In a world in which busyness doubles as significance, not only is my malady easily hidden, it can be re-appropriated as something positive. “That guy … he’s a self-starter.”
Yes, there is a fine line. It takes a keen eye to spot that line and rightly identify what lies on either side. Activity driven on by quiet desperation can be passed along as good ole fashioned hard work. And we can justify laziness with being comfortable in our own skin. Walking that line of a healthy self-love requires the sort of honest assessment and a “hell with the world” commitment to finding our proper bearings that is rarely even attempted.
Just the other day, I may have found my inspiration. In an exasperated attempt to help one of my kids understand something, this question crossed my mind: “Do I dress up my discontentment with my kids with flowery nonsense about believing in their great potential?”
That’s not to say I do not believe in my kids great potential. God knows I do. And of course I’m not saying I shouldn’t instruct and correct. But when I feel the nearness of that familiar darkness, the closeness of the despair that gets my gut turning a desperate pace, I think I work on my kids the way I’ve always worked on myself.
Maybe the love for my kids will get me over the hump to actually love myself.