“Pretender”: that is one way I can get by. In my years of walking, sitting, listening, growing, with recovering drug addicts I have heard many mantras: “Fake it ’till you make it.” What is this, a paradox? “Fake it”? What about authenticity? There it is, a glimpse of the entanglement of identifying what is what, and what is a mirage. With the “Fake it ’till you make it”, I finally got it. It makes sense.
As men, we all have an extraordinary ability to out-think ourselves.
- Claiming to be realists, oblivious of our pessimism;
- Critical of one’s pessimism, unaware of their realism;
- Claiming to be optimists, blind to our naiveté;
- Critical of one’s naiveté, missing their optimism.
Thus, my bind with pretending: to be thankful, when I do not feel it. I recognized, at some point, my thankfulness; regardless of what I felt. Stepping back to sort out the semantics, I have come to choose thankfulness, even by faith, over fickleness of feelings. Feelings remind me of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, at times. Thankfulness is one of the greatest forces we can keep close throughout our journey:
- Thankfulness operates as potential opposite of anxiety;
- Thankfulness is “pro-relationship”;
- Thankfulness triggers a “strengths self-inventory”, which gives us an “awareness of empowerment”;
- Thankfulness exudes “other-centeredness”, versus “self-centeredness”.
So, men, be courageous and step into thankfulness: for your wife / your girlfriend; your children; to fight the depression and other battles. Thankfulness is an action for me; it doesn’t always come easy. Here are some things I am thankful for:
- My God;
- My wife;
- My children;
- That I finally started blogging (why did I wait so long?);
- Other bloggers – – – their posts, their words of wisdom and encouragement;
- My dogs.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.