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Thanks much for tuning in for my 2nd blog posting. Having never blogged before, I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity and a bit anxious about the responsibility. Though it rarely comes easily, I know how to churn out content. The question is, will it be good enough? The challenge of making it good enough for you to give a damn and have an interest in continuing to check it out is also both exciting and anxiety-provoking.
In this capacity, will I be good enough? Like so many people who can be too hard on themselves, I am usually my own harshest critic, and have a long history of being merciless in beating the shit out of myself for my perceived inadequacies. Being a perfectionist is a form of self-imposed psychological slavery. Being emotionally chained to the need to be perfect is a prescription for suffering.
This dynamic can infect all dimensions of my life. As I described in Some Assembly Required, the facets of my personality that tend to precipitate my suffering often rear their ugly heads in the heat of some sort of sports-oriented competition. And the most intense competition is always with my expectations for my own performance. Bowling is a vivid example. There are times when I can really struggle when I don’t bowl as well as I think I should, becoming mired in frustration and anger, feelings with a vulnerable underbelly of inadequacy. I look around and observe some of my fellow league bowlers seemingly having much more consistent success and start to feel somehow less than. Yet, the reality is that I’m an excellent bowler. When I review the weekly statistics put out by the league, the actual figures reveal that my average (currently 203) is higher than nearly everyone I’ve been comparing myself to unfavorably.
Although it will always be a work in process, my recovery from addiction and chronic pain has been instrumental in helping me learn how to break free from the mental and emotional bondage that I perpetrate upon myself. Through my recovery-related practices, I continue to unearth exquisite commonalities between twelve-step recovery, meditation, mindfulness, Taoist and Buddhist spirituality, and specific psychotherapeutic techniques. Putting these pieces together progressively strengthens my capacity to bring to bear compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness—for myself, as well as for others.”

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This post was written by Dan Mager, MSW, author of SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED