We all think that we are wonderful beings—my tags are evidence of this. And it’s not that I think we shouldn’t. To quote Ethel Waters, I know I’m somebody cause God don’t make no junk! Pretending to have low self esteem is form of false pride. While it appears to be humility, it is actually using martyrdom to attract attention. Sometimes we can get too full of ourselves (narcissism) and become blind to our faults and flaws. But we are a mixture of good and bad–every single one of us.
I do wonder if others would use the tags that I have used to describe me. If not, I have a problem. I suppose it is all a matter of perspective, but still, you should live your life in such a way that your beliefs and virtues shine through.
During my first year of teaching I had the ambivalent pleasure of working with Ms. Johnson, our English department head. She was very good at her job. She was highly competent and efficient as well. She knew both her subject and her teachers. However she was a force to be reckoned with–especially when she was in a bad mood. Yes, Ms. Johnson was a mercurial Miss. And sometimes she was downright rude. Her mouth was most caustic and biting. I often avoided the English office in fear that Ms. Johnson would be having a bad day.
She retired the next year much to my relief. It meant no more walking on pins and needles. Last year I did happen to run into Ms. Johnson at a funeral. I approached her and gave her a hug and expressed my surprise at seeing her singing in the church choir. She laughed and explained that she had been raised in the church. She also said that people were often shocked that she was a Christian because of her rude demeanor. Ms. Johnson went on to explain that after assessing herself that she realized that she was not Christian in her actions. She concluded with more laughter saying “I spend too much time at church for it not to show! So I’ve embarked on a character make-over!” After that converstaion with her I developed a newfound respect for my former boss. I was impressed that she was able to recognize her actions spoke louder than her words. There was an obvious disconnect between who she said she was and who she REALLY was.
With this in mind I want to live my life in a way that my self-imposed tags are obvious to those around me. It’s one thing for me to think well of myself, but if no one else does, then it is all for naught. In the past, Eliza probably would have tagged me with the following labels: public enemy #1, control freak, children stealer, my footstool, new wife, second choice, arrogant witch, meddling missus, uneducated paralegal (this is a direct quote), gossip monger…ouch!, but she is entitled to her opinion. However, I hope that her perspective of me has changed somewhat. I have let my actions and character do all of the talking. I realize that I am simply a work in progress falling with grace. This is the way Bud Lightyear so eloquently summed up his lack of flying abilities–grace being the key word.