Over the last decade, I’ve done a lot of introspection and a lot of growth work. I’ve read lots of books and attended more seminars than I can count. They’ve all been valuable to me, and I have no regrets. But lately, I’ve come to feel that too much of this work has been about “fixing” what I felt was broken inside of me. I’ve decided that I haven’t spent nearly enough time celebrating all the things that I feel are right and good and inspiring about me. And I suspect I’m not alone.
I see you out there. You, a reader of this publication which is often about smoothing and refining the edges of our personalities, our intellects, our relationships, our careers, our sex lives, our parenting. You, a modern man, painfully aware of — and in touch with — his failings, his weaknesses, his triggers, his reactions, his parcel of emotional baggage thrown over his shoulder like some hero of old. I see you out there. And I wonder… sure, you’ve got shit like we’ve all got shit, but… What’s really wonderful about you? What doesn’t need fixing, or tweaking, or reducing, or eliminating? What about you is just freakin’ great, right here, right now?
So here’s my challenge, fellas. Here’s the risk I’m asking you to take. Write a brief story about what’s fantastic about you. Write it any way you want, but I invite you to begin it like this…
I’m the Greatest Guy I Know!
When you do — and if you can get over your own bullshit about how there’s nothing special about you or how it’s not okay to brag — when you get past all of that I promise that you will meet a different you on the other side. You’ll meet the you that your loved ones know. You’ll meet the you that your friends and your peers and your community members know. You’ll meet that guy who, despite the fact that he’s not yet his best self, is doing pretty goddamned well.
Press pause for just a moment, and write your stories, my brothers. Here’s mine.
I’m the Greatest Guy I Know!! I am a really, really, great husband. Like stellar, actually. I listen, I talk, I say I love you all the time. I’m faithful, I’m devoted, I’m chivalrous, and I’m thoughtful. I leave little love notes on the counter for her most nights. I tear up when trying to tell her how much I care. I clean, I launder, I cook, I repair. Every day, I get up and go to work and earn my pay. I support my family, I provide for them, I protect them. I adore my wife’s family, and I love all of her friends. I keep myself fit and healthy, well-groomed and well-dressed. I show my wife every day, in ways both big and small, that she is my one and only true love.
Not only that, but I’m a really amazing Dad too. First of all, I’m here. I’ve always been here. I always will be. Not only that, but I’ve been PRESENT for my kids. I went to every school event, every concert, every meeting, every competition. I taught my children to be kind, and to be peacemakers. I taught them the value of education. I taught them to be silly and to not care who sees it. I taught them to honor their mother. I taught them the importance and value of fitness. I taught them a love of reading. I taught them that music is the river of life, and I taught them how to love swimming in it. I taught them to question everything. I taught them how to think logically and rationally. I taught them the value of community service. I taught them how to work. I taught them tolerance, and acceptance, and compassion. I taught them right from wrong. I taught them that their emotions were okay, and they were okay, more than okay, they were loved. My kids have always known that they are endlessly loved.
That’s the guy my wife sees. That’s the guy my kids see. And trust me, that’s not even half of my story. There’s so much more I could say. But really, what I want you to know is this:
I’m the Greatest Guy I Know. And so are you.
Copyright 2017, Robert Conway
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