I’ve been exploring outstanding ways to be a better version of me for about a month now. How can I clean up? How can I love my wife and kids better? How can I be a better husband and dad? How can I do better work? And most important, does any of that extra effort translate into being happier? After all, if the extra effort doesn’t translate into good, should I continue?
At that last point, I’m tempted to finish the question with “is it worth the effort?” That is entirely the wrong way to look at it, though. On one hand, if there are things I need to clean up, it’s always worth the effort to clean my mess (physical or emotional).
On the other hand, and this is where it gets tricky, there is no external reward outside of my own peace of mind for the effort. That hurts. Worse, I’ve found being tidier emotionally meant the protective walls I’d built to be less susceptible to my emotions crumbled.
This was unexpected and troublesome. I don’t like how I feel as a result of the work I’ve done. I’m vastly better at things I’d neglected over the last decade or so but that comes at a price of being more emotionally connected to everything outside me… things I have no control over. I find myself moody over things that wouldn’t normally affect me. And I don’t like it.
I’m on stronger spiritual ground but feel weaker emotionally.
Interestingly, I thought this was going to be a lot easier when I started cleaning myself up. I only expected the up-side.
Thankfully, I’m not going this alone. I have professional help. Sponsors are great, but I’m not dabbling in simple step work here. In golf parlance, I’m trying to drive the green. In bowling, I’m going for a 300. In cycling, I’m looking for a sub 4h:20m on a century with a first for the sprint across the final City Limits sign.
It’s about time I grew a little bit. In fact, it’s a bit of a rebirth. A lot like Easter…
It depends on your perspective, I suppose. Many said, once news of the empty resting place of Jesus got around, “He is risen!”
Many others said, “Oh shit, He is risen”.
One thing I haven’t lost sight of in the midst of this is that I know there’s freedom once the work is done, and that freedom will be vastly better than I hoped it would be. It’s sure is interesting getting there, though!