I was working out in the gym when an old song came on. It was “Rocket Man” by Elton John. What really stood out was something I was feeling that morning; and quite frankly, something I’d felt much of my life. “What if they find out who I really am? I feel alone, and I don’t think anyone would understand me if they really knew me.”
This thought was really magnified after winning The Biggest Loser in 2009. As I stood on the scale and became the biggest loser in history, I wondered how long I could keep that moment – that act. People started looking at everything I ate, at my current weight, and people even thought I was rich beyond my wildest dreams.
I remember when I was a kid and answered the door to the FBI. “We need to talk to Charles Cahill.” I didn’t know what was going on. Turned out that my father gave them a shotgun that was bought with a hot check by someone else, and then sold to him for cash. After the FBI left, he admitted to me that he knew something was odd about the shotgun, and he knew it was possibly stolen, but he wanted that gun so bad that he bought it anyway. For the first time, I saw a flaw in my father that I didn’t know was there.
It took me to a time when I first met my wife. I wanted her to like me so much that I told her a few little lies to make her think I was better than I actually was – embellishments was what I’d call them. Eventually, a few of those lies would catch up to me, and I’d have to come clean.
Then I thought of my children when they were born. How long would it be before I got knocked off that pedestal of being a hero to them? What happens when they know the real me? Will they still love me as much as they do now? Will they still think of me as highly as they do now?
Here are a few of the lyrics to Rocket Man: “And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time ‘til touch down brings me round again to find I’m not the man they think I am at home. Oh no, no, no, I’m a rocket man. Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.”
We’re often scared of those around us knowing the real us. We’re fearful that we might let everyone down. What if they see our flaws? What if they knew our thoughts? Would they still love us?
Each month at The Journey Training, people find out they don’t have to carry the guilt, shame, or fear anymore. People consistently find out that others are a lot like them – hiding things about their past – their failures, their fears, their anxieties. Then they find out something even more incredible: that when people find out the real you, they actually love you even more.
How long are you going to carry around those weights? Maybe it’s time you let yourself off the hook and tell yourself the truth; that even with the flaws, mistakes, and imperfections, you’re okay – perfectly imperfect! And most of all, just like the hundreds that have gone through The Journey Training, you just might find out that you’re not alone on your journey.