The Other Side Of Me

Below is a slightly revised repost that is important to me for my newer readers to see.

I have received a number of great compliments from many of you lately and appreciate every single one of them. A lot. Thank you for taking time out of your day to brighten mine.

But there is another side of me that I want you to know. The small and petty side. The weak and selfish, impatient, disappointed, and angry side. The Stinking Thinking, Pity-Party, Woe-Is-Me, nothing-is-good-enough side. I too often have an awful case of Baditude. I think that word pretty accurately (actually, “UGLY accurately” would be closer to the truth!) describes a side of me that wants to scowl and frown in the face of incredible blessings. A side that makes me not even want to be with me in those moments.

A side that my friends and family love me in spite of–and for which I’m eternally grateful. But a side that blog readers who’ve never met me–which is nearly all of you–may never see if I don’t share it with you too. I’m not sure as to all the reasons why this is important to me but I know that it is.

Perhaps it is partly because I’d feel like a phony if I was liked for only the best parts of me.

And while part of me says I shouldn’t care what others think, the truth is that I do. I care a lot. But I’d much rather risk having people dislike me for who I truly am than to have them like only a false vision of me.

The truth is that I’m humble, but I’m also arrogant, and sometimes even vain. That I’m a hero and a coward. I have both great and petty thoughts. I sometimes think I’ve got life well in hand and sometimes think that I don’t have a clue. I’m generous and selfish. Wise and foolish. Proud and ashamed. I write to give and to get.

This hasn’t been an easy post for me to write, but it is perhaps one of the ones most important for me to have written.

Thank you for reading it.

Russ

About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and the beauty of kindness and nature.
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18 Responses to The Other Side Of Me

  1. Hey you sound like someone else I know! Wait you sound like everyone I know! At least sOme of the times. It creates contrast and opportunities for learning. I love that you are a real human like the rest of us! Makes me like you even more (how is that even possible!). :). Hugs to you dear friend. Jo

  2. russtowne says:

    Thank you tons, Jo! If you can like the worst of me there’s hope for me yet!

    Russ

  3. Well Gee…I guess that’s true of me too …. and probably everybody else! It’s the trying and striving and holding yourself accountable and wanting to be the best you can be that I think your readers are drawn to. 🙂

  4. russtowne says:

    Thank you, Diana! I want my children and grandchildren, when they are looking for examples of fairness and integrity, to think of me. I believe in accountability and growing in a big way and am glad that it shows in my blog.

    Russ

  5. boomiebol says:

    And while part of me says I shouldn’t care what others think, the truth is that I do. I care a lot. But I’d much rather risk having people dislike me for who I truly am than to have them like only a false vision of me.

    I think this post and particularly this portion describes me and everyone else on planet earth well…a friend once said “regardless of what i do or don’t do, whoever will like me, will like me” It’s still tough to accept but i am learning too.
    I guess while we are all beautiful people inside, we have the sides that are ugly but hopefully in embracing the beautiful side more, we can start to do away with the ugly.

    Another great post as always. Thanks for sharing your heart

  6. mindfuldiary says:

    Wow, Russ I admire your honesty. I think the UGLY makes us vulnerable, perhaps it is a reminder from God, to remain humble as often as possible. But I guess as mentioned in previous comments, we all have some ugly in us, the difference is that some of us dare to see it and admit it, to ourselves and to the world. That is genuine and an authentic living. Thank you for daring to show it to us, Russ. Btw, I find posts that are honest so refreshing in “blogland”, because it is much easier to write pretty posts rather than what truly goes on. Life has also a raw and ugly side and I love reading and learning about that on blogs from people. The ones who dare to be themselves, good and bad. Thumbs up for this post!!

  7. gaele1 says:

    Contextus est omnia ..the context is everything. While we can see the “pretty side” the reality is that there is a context here in which you present and we read. And most often, we tend to want to show the sides of us that are worthy of admiration, and not those which spotlight flaws. You want I should not like you or what you share because you are human? Perhaps that is what makes it all the more worth sharing.

  8. JanBeek says:

    Yup, human! gaele1 said it. So did a lot of your other readers. Human means we’re all imperfect. Thank God! You’d be impossible – arrogant and obnoxious – any other way. So, join the ranks of us “uglies” who admit our faults, hate our “Batitudes,” but behave like bafoons too often anyway. You’re in good company!

  9. JanBeek says:

    Oh, change that to “Baditudes.” It was a wonderful word. Did you “coin it?”

  10. russtowne says:

    Hi, Jan. “Baditude” is one of several words that I think I coined and don’t think I heard anywhere before, but I’ll bet the minute I claim that I coined a word, someone will say it came from someplace else–not in a nefarious way but a factual one–but for now, I think I coined it.

    I’d rather coin several words I like and not be concerned about who claims or gets credit for them than to hold off using them just because someone else might have thought of the word first.

    The same is true for phrases and quotes too. I posted a quote recently and for the first time put my name on it. I cringed doing it because even though I believe I came up with it first, I’d hate to have someone accuse me of stealing it from someplace else, so I usually just say the quote or phrase as part of a post and not make a big deal about it or attribute it to anyone. I figure if I was the first and it is worth remembering, it was worth sharing regardless of who is credited with it.

    What’s that saying, “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.” (And no I didn’t coin that phrase but I wish I had. It’s a good one!)

    Russ

  11. Rhonda says:

    I love this post Russ. Were it a true dichotomy we could chose to reveal or develop the part we like; hide or eliminate part we don’t. However, as our two parts are not mutually exclusive, we must embrace the whole as who and what we are, for one without the other would not survive. I happen to think we are quite an impressive lot…the good the bad and the ugly. Without seeing the black or the gray, we would not see or appreciate the color. Your colors shine Russ, but a the classic ‘black suit/little black dress’ needs to be part of our wardrobe.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Rhonda. You are a philosopher! I agree with you that it is a package deal. I believe it helps to teach us acceptance and to learn how to love the parts in oursleves and others that don’t measure up to our view of what is “ideal”.

      The less-than-ideal parts of myself also provide me with plenty of self-improvement projects on which to work! Ive got a LARGE menu from which to choose!

      Russ

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