“What’s wrong with me!!?”
I actually said that out loud the other day. I don’t say it nearly as much as I used to but, still, what’s wrong with me that I would ask that question at all?
I was relating this story to my imaginary friend (OK, my therapist; same thing) and he said, “It’s not a bad question?”
He continued. His point was that the desire to know what is going on with oneself is entirely rational and can be filled with a desire to care for our well being. Think of a doctor who is trying to understand the nature of your malady. Or of a parent looking into the eyes of a crying child. “What is wrong?” It’s the tone that kills us. It’s usually spoken in the harshest manner, one in which we would never even consider using with another. Well maybe to Trump.
It’s a whisper, the soft alliteration of “what is wrong with you.” The implied “How can I help?
Let’s try to stay away from
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!
So what was wrong? What had caused this self-reprimand? Simple. I made a mistake at work. Not huge or critical. A common error that caused some minor inconvenience to a co-worker. No one minded except me.
But that’s it, isn’t it? We cannot make mistakes! And if we do, Holy Christ, let the demons have their way with our self esteem.
The other night, I was playing some music with a couple of guys that love playing songs that I write. We are becoming a tight group, in many ways. I’ve always been intimidated by gifted musicians but with these guys, who love my words and tunes, we are equals. We all bring something essential to the sound we create.
It was a lovely evening (we had been playing at party at my house in celebration of my new record – have I mentioned that you can pre-purchase said record at my Kickstarter site?) and at the end of the evening, the three of us were talking outside of my house. I then walked to my car as Joe and Andrew continued talking. I silently noted that Andrew’s car was behind mine in the driveway. There was plenty of room to get by so I would just back around him.
I got in my car, started it, put it in reverse and promptly slammed into Andrew’s car. The demons spoke, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME”? I pulled up, hopped out of the car and saw Andrew and Joe hurrying towards me. Neither glanced at the cars. Both looked directly at me and Andrew said, “Are you OK”?
“Yeah, but I just ran into your car!”
“Don’t worry. It’s plastic. It’s fine. Just as long as you’re OK”.
I was. I am. Andrew asked the question in the right way: is anything wrong?
It has taken me so long to get here and I often lose sight of this essential fact: it’s OK to make mistakes. We are allowed. And when we do screw up, those who love us don’t care. They only care that we are OK…and if we’re not, they are there to help us be OK.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. And I hope you check out and share what I’m up to at Kickstarter. If you don’t then…WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??!!