I woke up this morning and went to my regular networking meeting, something I do weekly that I haven't been able to do for two weeks because of being sick. It was nice, but then someone said something that made me think. Talking about someone at our meeting and giving a testimony, they said,
"He's my favorite person."
A sudden rush of thoughts went through my head, as normally does. That's interesting. That's a powerful statement—my favorite person. That's a strong connection. Wonder if they mean that literally. Who's my favorite person? If people see my latest post they'll probably think that I think I'm my favorite person. But I'm not. Wait. Why am I not?
The thought that stuck in my head after all that was this:
There is no one in my life I am more STUCK with than me. If I am not my favorite person, I lose.
Yesterday, I was playing around with my camera after a pretty intense Krav Maga Training—I was sweaty and it was very bright outside. I took a picture. I liked it. So, I cleaned it up and posted it, then made it my new profile picture. I really liked the way it turned out. Then I thought —What if people see it and see that I posted it? Will they think I'm a narcissist? Will they think I'm some self-obsessed...
I stopped thinking and just posted the picture.
This post isn't about self-indulgence or being self-obsessed, it's about self judgment. It's for those who trap themselves in cages of their own making—for whatever reasons they rationalize. It's for people who play down themselves, their worth, their work, their accomplishments, their efforts...because they just don't SEE their value. I've been one of those people, and it's been a long process finding all the ways in which I (and those close to me) lose as a result of this...and sometimes in some of the most subtle but painful ways.
See, if we can't be honest and open about this, then we get stuck. We get stuck pretending. We get stuck aiming to prove it, and often over compensating. Others see that confidence and have answers for it — everyone has faults so that's easy. Then we find ourselves stuck in this pendulum swing between extremes. As a result, we lose. We find ourselves stuck in life.
For me, the ways used to be huge and obvious— I was an ass hole husband who destroyed his marriage. I found that one and turned it around and into a victory. But my journey wasn't over. It had finally begun. And now, I continue to discover ways in which I continue to lose from this.
I don't see the value I have. That's not a pity party. It's simply a fact. I just don't see it. I sometimes forget to eat. I can't explain it. I get passionate about working on a project for a client and I'm in a flow, then I look at the clock and the entire day has disappeared. It's similar to that. I get busy, and I dive into this, or that. I throw myself at this problem and that. I take on a challenge someone else is facing and step by their side.
Then I look up, and realize—I've lost.
I feel good for helping. It could be a design project, or a social media campaign idea, or a video that the client just didn't have the vision to bring together and splice with their other marketing initiatives. It could be an idea that's outside the box when they were feeling stuck, and ends up being perfectly what the client needed. It could be a husband who I step alongside to mentor in their relationship, a young person emerging who needed a mentor or advisor to help them as they embark on their first career. It could be a youth who's struggling to relate to their parents and caught in friend drama. I dive in and I love helping.
Then I look up and I'm in need. I need to eat. (metaphorically)
If I were my favorite person, I would love taking care of me. But I don't.
In fact, I've had to do some digging recently because I struggle when it comes to conversations with clients about payment and money, and value. I have a hard time asking for money, unless I think of my family—they need it. Because they need it, I push myself to ask. But I often lose because I literally just forget. Like forgetting to eat.
So this random statement from a networking meeting spawned all of these thoughts as a wave, in an instant. It made me think. Meanwhile, I also had this phrase Jesus said bouncing around in my head, "...and love your neighbor as yourself."
You have to love yourself to know how to love your neighbor as yourself.
You really should be your favorite person. You're the only person that will be present for 100% of your life. You might as well make friends with yourself and take care of yourself.
Then put that well-cared-for person to work making the world a better place.