I’m not fucked up- I’m just engaging with my imperfections!
Today I had a work related training that dealt with being responsive to different individuals and acknowledging diversity. Part of the day was spent listening to a Ted talk with Jay Smooth, in which he explained that as long as we view each other through simplistic lenses- like I am good or bad, a racist or not a racist, pure or impure- we continue to discourage real dialogue about the grey space we inhibit in our daily lives. Amen, brother Smooth!
I know a lot about fucking up- but that does not make me a fuck up. I know about making mistakes- but that does not make all I am a mistake. I have traveled to dark places, done dumb things, applauded asinine actions, spoken & slurred spurious speeches. But, at end of this day, I continue to defiantly proclaim that I will NOT be defined by my mistakes. The person I am is not the disappointing sum total of the darkest days of my life. Rather, the man I am can best be seen when I gather myself- with the help of others- and voyage from barely lit valleys that have, at times, become my home.
Still, in public space, in the “real” world, outside the thinly veiled protection of an anonymous blog, I continue to carefully craft the person I allow to be known by the world. Very few people know the full me- warts and all. Although I am pushed to be accepting and responsive to others, I fear that my true identity will be rejected. And just what are those parts of me that I’m hesitant to allow the world to see?
I’m an addict. I can be an asshole. On any given day my struggle with depression leads me to see the world in dark and dreary tones. I’m overly judgmental and exceedingly harsh- both with myself and others. I’m selfish. And I can go on…. and on. (Did I mention self flagellation is a hobby of mine?)
But I’m also a survivor. A believer. An encourager whose passion can be infectious. When the pendulum swings I can speak eloquently about the power of hope and resilience of faith. I can be amazingly compassionate and forgiving, as each time I fail it makes me even more understanding. I’m selfless.
Some days I take off my black & white lenses and see the colors of the world explode. Sometimes I drop the facade and give others a glimpse of the vibrant, drastically different tones of the true me. And the more frequently I do, the closer I come to being at peace, the more I feel a bit of tranquility amid the tumultuous inner landscape of my mind.
In the end, it’s a daily journey. I’m far from the destination and will never truly arrive. Perfection will never happen. Along this rocky path of life, I’m just another dude perfecting the process of engaging with my imperfections. And you know what? I’m pretty good at that. After all, I’ve had a lot of practice!