You ever have one of those days where everything is cruising along, and then suddenly, out of nowhere something completely smacks you in the face? It’s crazy how fast our brain can shift from “everything is great” to “get me out of here”. That’s exactly what happened to me the other day.
It really was a good day. I caught up on work and had the best wedding, with an amazing older couple. I mean it was one of those weddings where you just felt the love. I think everyone was in tears as they read their vows. I left them on a high, just loving my job.
I met my wife to pick up our son and grabbed some takeout so I could get him to Scouts. About 20 minutes in my sweet boy was replaced by an alien. Suddenly he wouldn’t listen. He kept talking over the den leader. He yelled out answers to questions directed at other kids, with POOP! And NO! I have to admit, I was pissed.
I was embarrassed and ashamed of his behavior. I wanted to snatch him up and run for the door. I could see the smirks and head shakes from the other dads. I could feel their judgement. I could hear the whispers in my head saying “you’re a bad dad”.
The thing is, life is like that. We all have those moments when a spark of shame ignites our insecurities. It can happen anywhere. The snack aisle during a temper tantrum, during a photo shoot, or at your wedding.
In fact I had just seen it at the wedding I photographed that evening. As the bride was getting ready, one of the first things she said was “I’m not used to having my hair and makeup done.” “I don’t feel like myself”.
Those voices, you know the gremlins in our head can latch on to just about anything. Even something most would see as a positive. They start in as a whisper, but before long it’s a scream of “you’re not good enough” or “pretty enough” or “you don’t deserve this”.
When Kathleen walked out to Stephen you could see that nothing else mattered, but that moment. He took her by the hand and during their vows they talked about how grateful they were to have found one another.
That’s when it hit me. That’s everything. Be it a reaction to an obnoxious 5 year old or the insecurities of a bride on her wedding day. That’s how we fight those voices of self doubt. With love and gratitude.