Dr. Doctor called a few weeks ago and the conversation starter was this: “Tell me if I need to be jealous of this guy you’re dating.” At first I was surprised, how could he not know the man appearing in the blog was him? But then I remembered how years ago my sweet ex-partner had the same reaction and she was almost angry: “I don’t know who you think I am but I’m not that woman; I’m not that smart and accomplished.” It’s hard–especially when its good–to see ourselves as others see us. Fortunately, her reflection and my vision became one in the same over the years we spent together.
I assured him nowadays I only document the delightful bits about those I care for. But his reaction and remembering The Girl’s reaction made me stop and think about the important lesson of seeing ourselves as other’s see us. Especially the good parts. I suffer from that, too. But I think it’s because no one can crawl around in our heads and see how hard we flog ourselves over “failures” when we muck up boundaries, make assumptions, have tantrums on mute during tele comm meetings.
And thank goodness. If people know us as witty, resourceful, and loving those things will take over the dark bits and they will less likely surface without appropriate cause. Of course they will surface; my temper will always be there but it’s the dark side of my passion for fairness and doing the right thing for my patients.
Celebrating mostly the good in ourselves and other’s is not delusional. It’s simply seeing the good parts.
And it’s a choice.