My dad was a handsome man.
My dad owned a successful business.
My dad had a beautiful, loving wife.
My dad had three adoring children.
My dad had integrity, character and a good name.
My dad had life long friends and a supportive community.
My dad loved and was loved.
My dad had every seemingly important attribute, achievement and accomplishment in what we typically define as “successful.”
However, in the end, my dad was a failure. Of course, neither I nor any one else would have ever viewed him or describe him as a failure. On the contrary, he was my hero. However, he was a failure nonetheless. Why?
Because he believed he was a failure.
My dad wouldn’t, or maybe couldn’t, accept all of these gifts, achievements and blessings.
Because my dad, ultimately, couldn’t receive our love.
Because my dad didn’t love himself - didn’t love the man he saw looking back at him in the mirror. Or, in the words of Dale Wimbrow, my dad didn’t like the guy staring back at him in the glass.
“The Guy in the Glass,” by Dale Wimbrow (1934)
When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.
For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgment upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.
He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.