No, really?  This isn’t my attempt to play martyr or hint at my fear of becoming a narcissistic prick.  I have this picture in my mind, one I’ve been working on all of my life, of what I would look like if I did the things I thought I should be doing.

Flash back to when I was a kid.  Movies and books allowed me a safe place to play with my imagination.  Outside was a place of pain and fear.  I watched as heroes were suave and buckling…is that right?…and romance was full of firework moments.  Where swords and magic could help someone, who may not be physically statured, overcome the villain.  I watched Robin Hood with his charisma, I read how a little Halfling would face evil, how the boy gets the girl in the end.  I felt like all of these stories were giving me glimpses into what the ideal man would be like.

And then I grew up, had kids, earned my spare tire through working at a desk.  I became intense from work and dealing with a challenging life.  As I matured though, I found new ways to look at this vision from my youth.  Now my heroes are good parents, people who stand against oppression, and those that can share their love with their close ones without fear of critics.

So this brings me to my dilemma.  How can I be surrounded by such amazing examples of the ideal me?  I am still fighting the smoke monster. I need to start living healthier – both physically and nutritionally. I want to speak softly and smile more.

I think about some of these images and ideals; Then I go into process-mode.  What does it take to do these things?  I can make lists, I can walk through each step, I can even see myself doing it.  Then I give up, or get distracted.

As I flip through the mental images and get more and more frustrated, I ask why can’t I achieve these things?  I’ve improved sooo much already, but I can’t seem to get to the point I want.  And I realize there is another me sitting at the table, in the committee of my mind.

This one is well-dressed, but not too polished.  There is an air of confidence, braided through with compassion and humility.  A small smile on his face that accentuates the kindness in his eyes. Lines creasing at just the right parts to show intelligence and wisdom.  Hands are clasped on the table as if he is waiting for me to speak. He loves unconditionally. He wants what is best for everyone yet accepts everyone has different needs, including his own.  He articulates his ideas through a slow thoughtful, dialogue and asks just the right questions. He turns down distractions because he knows what is important. A warm light, like candles, surrounds him invitingly.  I want to get to know him better.  He is the Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man, he is the Courtier, he is Bilbo and Strider, Machiavelli’s Prince, Robin Williams, Poo bear, D’Artagnan, and so many others.

So when I stumble along my path I need to ask – What Would I Do?

Maybe one day, we’ll shake hands and he’ll offer me his chair.