I do a good job brushing my teeth.
The dentist said so when I went for my company health check. I still feel very good about my tooth brushing. I worked on brushing EVEN BETTER just 5 minues ago.
She said, “You do a good job brushing your teeth … and, you have a little calculus here.” So she whipped out a toothbrush and a set of fake teeth, and showed me how to “vibrate, not scrub” my lower incisors on the inside. And then she said, “You do a good job brushing your teeth.”
Sigh… so nice… I love you, dentist! Such wonderfully constructive suggestions for the brushing of teeth and the elimination of tartar!
I have to remember, the next time I’m about to massively fuck things up with someone I care about with my careless speech, that I should take a cue from the dentist and say, “You do a good job (insert behavior I like here) and there is (state existence of problem here quickly) so (state/show solution), and (repeat) you do a good job (insert behavior I like here).”
That is far better than saying, “I have been telling you for I don’t know how long that your method of toothbrushing sucks and your face is full of dental caries! You look like a pirate! Har matey! Why don’t you brush like I told you?”
I can remember to brush my teeth.
I will also remember to be mindful of the people I care about.
These kinds of things I have to figure out every day. I didn’t learn these things growing up. I learned how to order, nag, ignore, and guilt other people. I can do that well, without even thinking. That’s the problem — my automaton behavior.
So this is my long and lonely journey; this is a hard look in the mirror.
Figure it out every day. One step at a time, each day, I become more the person I want to be.