Checking in – Bravery, Acceptance, and Joy – Overcoming the fear of being “average”.

Please don’t tell your kids they’re special. Tell them they’re loved.

I don’t blame my parents for anything difficult in my life. I am responsible for all of my own challenges.

However, I wish my parents had not made me feel so inadequate by calling me special (and then constantly telling me how I was not living up to that). Because I am not special. And because I am not special but they expected me to be, I now struggle with ever feeling like I am enough just by myself with no accomplishments.

Allow me to reiterate: I do not blame my parents. They did what they thought was right and I honor that – and I miss them terribly and if they were here I would hug them and love on them and tell them I understand how hard it is to be a parent.

I was born with the curse of a so-called “high IQ”. Whatever that is. If having a high IQ was really a predictor of success I would be on top of the world. But I’m a dim failure on a lot of things and just mediocre on a whole bunch of others. And because of that, I have hated myself. I have struggled to find joy. I have been unable to feel worthy of anything unless I was seen as the best.

It’s hard to get that monkey off my back. I constantly have to remind myself that I am worthy just as I am. I don’t feel worthy. It’s largely intellectual and not heart-based, this understanding I have of my value.


I’m checking in here and decided to mention my struggle with worth because writing is hard. Writing a book is extra hard. Writing a book about yourself when you were at your worst is triple hard. Being in the middle of that is sometimes exhilarating and sometimes just depressing.

I can’t walk away from it again. I have to do this. I keep telling myself that even if it ends up being garbage, at least I will have done it. If I don’t do it, I don’t know if I can fully accept myself. That’s a hard truth to admit when you’re 60 and you’ve outlived both your parents and you know you’re not going to be here forever.

Give up or keep being vulnerable to the pain?

Well I think we know the answer to that question. But it doesn’t mean I don’t toy with the idea of just drinking beer and eating Doritos from now on to escape. To try and just have fun all the time. I know (from experience) that I would only end up hating myself even more if I did that. Trying to have fun is no way to find joy. Trying to be useful, now that’s a bit more in the proper direction.

And, on the beer and chips diet I would get very unhealthy both mentally and physically and I would be leaving the earth a lot sooner than I really want to. People do need me here. People love me and value me and rely on me.

Slow suicide is just as much of a travesty as the quick kind.

Today I am choosing to be courageous. I am opening my book-in-progress and seeing what I can do to progress this thing to the end. And I am remembering to simply accept things as they are – everything is as it should be.

You see, I asked God the other night to give me a lightness in my spirit. I wanted a big change, I told Him, a change like I’d had back in 1993 when I knelt beside my bed and had an attitude with God. I said go ahead and take all the sh*t, all the questions, all the doubts. Take them all away if you are who you say you are.

And the next morning, I found that my irreverent prayer had been answered. I was “enlightened” – my burdens had been transformed and I was lighter in my spirit. I was a different person, just like that.

I want that again. I’m so tired of feeling the weight of sadness and difficulties and tragedy and inevitability. So I asked God for that renewal again just the other day. This time I really knew what I was asking for and I couldn’t wait for it to happen to me again. But God said no.

Ugh. I feel so heavy and heartbroken in my spirit over so many things. How could you say no?

I wrestled with that for about 24 hours and then I heard the loving reminder to accept everything as it is and stop fighting it. Accept my failures. Accept the darkness of the world. Accept the pain and the disappointment. Accept it bravely, not with resentment but with an innocent stoicism that trusts.

Ah, yes.

I can’t see where I am going. I am pretty sure there is going to be hard stuff in the future for all of us. But the answer isn’t for God to just take it all away. The answer is for me to stop fighting. Because that is really what I was doing the first time I surrendered to my creator. I think God always answers prayers like that – prayers of surrender. And isn’t that what acceptance really is? It’s surrender.

So today I surrender to the possibility that my book could be the worst pile of crap ever written, or it could be even worse: just average. I surrender, knowing that it is my calling simply to write it. To acknowledge my journey, and to accept it whatever it ends up being. Even if it is just, “okay”.

I surrender to joy.

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