Selfie-portrait with Kate, Summer 2015

As a writer, qualifiers are useful. Words and phrases like "usually," "almost always," or "mostly" buy room for the likelihood that a statement will not always be true.

Last night, as I often do, I was journaling about my failings of the day. Usually at the end of such an entry I'll write, "What's wrong with me?" But for some reason last night, I decided to write "What's right with me?" instead. And I started a list.

But as I wrote, I found myself wanting to qualify everything. "I am usually a survivor." "I am a somewhat successful writer." "I am starting to let go of the past." And I thought: what if I wrote without the qualifiers?

So I started writing flat-out statements. "I am generous." "I am forgiving." "I don't hold grudges." "I'm a great dad."

The shift was palpable. Without the qualifiers, the statements felt empowering. Writing them was empowering. Life without qualifiers felt good.

I am. Period.