A month ago, I became aware of a talented blogger, Kelly Flanagan, PhD (thank you, Tom) with this right-on post about the real source of his daughter's beauty. By now, you've probably heard about it via other outlets, as this father's perspective has gone viral.
Matter-of-fact, Dr. Kelly and his 4-year-old daughter will appear on the TODAY Show on NBC Thursday, February 27th, as part of national eating disorders and body acceptance week. A few days ago, he wrote an addendum of sorts to this blog. His vigilant readers took exception to one of his opening statements, “When you have a daughter you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house—a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man.”
They asked, “But what about all the women you knew before your daughter? What about your wife?” Point. His ultimate response: "Good catch." WOW! Humble public ownership of an embarrassing slip...how rare is that? And how refreshing...he states, "If we’re afraid of being caught in the act of our own immaturity, we will forever be afraid to grow." He goes on to talk about how our culture has successfully banned "mistakes from the public square." He explains why that's a problem:
When we quit admitting we are wrong, we have quit growing. Growing up isn’t about growing perfect—it’s about growing out of our fear of imperfection. It’s about embracing that we all make mistakes—we’re all immature, we’re all a work in progress, we’re all on a journey of our own becoming.
Now that's real beauty!
After reading a number of his blogs, I decided to subscribe, which brings with it a free e-copy of his very brief (56 pages) book, The Marriage Manifesto: Turning Your World Upside Down. Tom and I each read it separately and found it so full of wisdom that we've committed to re-reading it aloud to each other every morning. It is a brilliant discourse on vulnerability and sacrifice within relationship. And although an easy read, there is nothing easy about the process. In re-reading the chapter on releasing the need to be "right," Tom began a dialogue with me and, as if I'd heard none of the words just read, I reacted with my old "I'm right, you're wrong" stance. "Not easy" is an understatement!
As this month of valentines and awareness comes to a close, I wish us all the grace involved with owning our wrongs, embracing vulnerability, and learning the true sacrifice of love.
[Originally posted on the Gürze Books Eating Disorders Blogs]