It has been always been a challenge for me to celebrate the small things in life. Big accomplishments are easy to see, and they feel good. I have never felt excited about progress. It is like the ultimate goal is still staring me in the face saying I am not good enough. That is the question that has always plagued me “Am I good enough?” If you are a male and have never read any John Eldredge books, you need to. In Wild at Heart, John says:
“Every boy, in his journey to become a man, takes an arrow in the center of his heart, in the place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed and even more rarely healed, every man carries a wound. And the wound is nearly always given by his father. Miss that moment and you’ll miss a boy’s heart forever. It’s not a question – it’s the question, the one every boy and man is longing to ask. Do I have what it takes? Am I powerful? Until a man knows he’s a man he will forever be trying to prove he is one, while at the same time shrink from anything that might reveal he is not. Most men live their lives haunted by the question, or crippled by the answer they’ve been given.”
It is not a secret that I didn’t grow up with a father, so this wound in my life is real. According to John, it is the father’s role in a boy’s life to tell him that he has what it takes. To give him verbal courage as he climbs the rock wall “You can do it son” “I believe in you Clayton”. I didn’t really have that as a boy. The wound and questions still haunts me to this day. I am constantly trying to overcome the fear of failure. I am always trying to prove that I am enough. In the process of applying to jobs in my transition, it was clearly a struggle for me. I felt like I wasn’t enough because I wasn’t getting the calls I thought I would from churches. I did not feel like I had what it takes to be successful and by failing to get a job, it was just enhancing what I was telling myself “I do not have what it takes.” Even as I write and edit this blog I keep asking Hilary “is this good enough?”
This seems dark and dreary, but I promise I am making progress. I have continued to find my identity in Christ, and that is step 1. I have also learned recently that I need to celebrate small victories on my journey. Large accomplishments are great but so are the small ones along the way. It is sad to say that I recently hit my highest weight at 299. It was a terrible feeling. I made a mental decision to make some changes because I did not want to hit 300. I didn’t set out with a goal to lose it all or to run a marathon. I just said I am going to make changes. I know myself and when I set large goals the journey means nothing to me. I just see the mountain and it says I am not good enough so I give up over and over. My quitting has just reenforced what I thought about myself. I know that this will always be a struggle of mine, but since I have made changes I have lost 10 pounds! Today for the first time, I gave myself the ability to celebrate that 10 pound victory. In the past, I would have just seen the mountain. I would have felt like where I have been is nothing compared to where I need to be. This would have caused me to feel like what I did was worth nothing. Today I am able to celebrate that I am making small changes, and those changes are working.
I hope that in the world we live in you are able to see that you have what it takes. Before these past few weeks, my weight was either stable or rising. To lose weight is something to celebrate. The numbers are going in a different direction, and that is amazing. The wound I have from my childhood is still healing, but I am making progress. I can glance up at the mountain every now and then, but I want to keep my eyes focused on the small things I do each day. Take a moment and celebrate something today. It doesn’t have to be these great before and after pictures of weight loss. It doesn’t have to be a promotion. It doesn’t have to be climbing Everest. All of those things are great and should be celebrated! Don’t get upset because it is only 1 day of sobriety, celebrate that! A week of being on time to work is worth celebrating! Getting a good parking spot is something to celebrate! Find something dear friends and celebrate it.