Saturday I received a text from a friend showing me a picture of his new son. Baby was, of course, adorable with that “Where the heck… What the heck…” look on his face common to newborns.
This friend has a lovely family with a wife, step-daughter, and two sons. This is not at all my idea of him! My idea of him is stuck from over twenty years ago. In my head he is still the person I would call a “rake.” Some admiration, some judgment. Sticky identity. Hmmm.
But enough about him. What does this have to do with me?
This is actually a good question.
What does it say about me, my identity, that keeps him stuck? What is my identity that holds him in his? When I say “his” I mean my idea of him. Probably not his own idea of himself or anyone else’s idea of him.
If you want to drive to Denver, you need to know where you’re starting from to plan your route accurately. If you think you might be lost, you need to stop and find some reference points.
Where am I to still see him that way? That’s what popped into my head last Saturday as we texted back and forth, and I looked at a new human being with half of his DNA.
I knew it would be necessary for me to un-stick my identity of me from back then to allow his to be current. I’ve been running through some attributes to see what felt most solid.
Gadabout: traveled only a little
Went around curves really fast: too scared to do that
Worked hard to change: afraid I haven’t changed at all
…. oh. Only matters how it feels, not whether or not it’s true.
More work to do, if I can be brave enough to do it.