A look in my mirror

The photo above is a big mirror for me.

See that look of smugness, of self-importance, of grandiosity?

Yeah, me too… now. 😳😐😞

I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking that I knew better than other people, including, sometimes, that I knew what was best *for someone else.*

Now, that may or may not seem like an utterly insane idea to you, but with a little distance from that old habit of mine (that still rears its ugly head sometimes), I can see the absurdity and grandiosity in the idea that I – with my own lifetime’s worth of wounds and false beliefs and blind spots – might know what was best for anyone else.

Hell, I don’t even know what’s best for myself most of the time, but I still had myself convinced that I probably knew what other people should do a lot of the time.

A few months back, I wrote myself a reminder note on my bathroom mirror: “I don’t know what’s best for anyone else.”

Growth is painful. Seeing yourself more clearly is painful. Having your beliefs and patterns and absurdities mirrored back to you by another is painful. (Thank you, @syannawand, for being a crystal clear mirror for My Stuff. Your presence makes me a better man.)

Changing – even when it’s for the better – is often painful, too. It requires attentiveness to your own patterns, lots of self-observation, and the willingness to eat a shitload of humble pie when you get it wrong.

So to all 31.4 million people that I’ve been smug, condescending or insensitive to, I’m sorry.

When I see more of myself, I do my best to change.

Onward.

📷: @jordan_is

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6 Comments

  • Joanne Parker

    You did know what was best for me when I met you at a talk 5 years ago. I was struggling with injuries and aging and you told me “You can still be an athlete if you just walk”, so I started walking, and walking led back to fitness, and I am the healthiest I have ever been. You have a lot of wisdom to share and it’s ok to share it. You changed my trajectory and that of so many others. You can be both humble and proud. Don’t hide your light.

  • Jennifer

    Hi!
    I’m thinking you just need to calm down. Everyone’s brain does the exact same thing. We make judgements, assumptions, plans and we also have kind loving thoughts of prosperity and goodness, warmth and beauty. But, they are all just thoughts, in and out, no substance, no harm no fowl.even if you’re adhering to them it’s just more nothingness, and, if you turn those thoughts into ugly words, the recipient still has the choice of what thoughts they wrap around your words… right? Love is the only truth. Only Truth is real. Everything else is a lie! So, sit in loves beautiful reflection, relax and enjoy the Truth that is everything! We make things way harder than they are, in Truth life is easy, rich and wonderful….enjoy!

  • Diane

    A good reminder for all of us to look in the mirror often! Thank you for being so honest!

  • Roland Denzel

    I think it’s pretty normal to know or think you know ‘what’s best” or ‘what’s good’ for someone. It’s the way you get the message across that counts.

    I don’t know what else you were going through at the time this was taken, but you aren’t projecting condescension to me. I’ve met you three times, and each time you were nice, kind, and gave thoughtful advice to everyone around you in a warm and welcoming way.

  • Steph

    Self awareness is a great gift. Socrates hit the nail on it’s head when he said that the unexamined life is no life at all. Social media encourages people to place their self worth into the hands of strangers and encourages us all to pass judgement on others But we are our own custodian, accountable to our own conscience. Working out what we want, who we want to be and what we can bring to the world is the journey into self actualization and maturity. We can also help people along the way. 😁

  • Pam

    If we spend too much time looking in a rear view mirror we can loose where we are going. We all struggle with ego. Forgive, be present in the moment and move forward on the path you were meant to travel.

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