Dr. Vera Tarman is celebrating a decade of work at Renascent! To mark the occasion, we asked her to answer a few questions from the famous Proust Questionnaire.
When and where were you happiest?
I have a number of moments when I am happy. Most are when I am feeling grateful. I think the publication of my book Food Junkies: The Truth about Food Addiction, and the willingness of the Renascent program to embrace the concept and treatment of food addiction, are amongst my happiest gratitudes. These are culminations of a life’s dream realized. I know that they are small steps in a larger picture, but I have been able to pass the torch of the message of food addiction to many, and for this I am eternally grateful.
What is the trait you most admire most in others?
Resilience, willingness, endurance. More than anything else, I admire willingness and the steadfast devotion to a cause. I am a pragmatist, so success is secondary. Failure is part of any venture. The ability to show up when an intention has been set, no matter the fear, discomfort, inconvenience, the previous failures, is a quality I admire. Ultimately I believe this is a spiritual act, to let a higher purpose or power guide the way through the obstacles that life presents. I would go as far as to say it is THE key ingredient to happiness, as well as to long term recovery.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I am impatient with a perfectionist attitude. More accurately, I fear this trait in others. Since there is a fundamental randomness in the universe, and since we can not possibly control all the variables in any venture, failure is built in to the very fabric of life. To be a perfectionist is deny this (and hence be emotionally vulnerable to its effects) and could doom a creative response to unforeseen changes. I am impatient with people who are perfectionists, because I know they could be knocked at the knees at the first gate. I try to be understanding as I appreciate perfectionism to be a coping mechanism for many people, but worry how it will impact on their overall performance. Will they be there when we need each other the most?
What do you most dislike about yourself?
I am too attached to my schedule, the times, the to-do list, the work. I have very little sense of spontaneity. While I get things done and am fairly reliable, I am not an easy going person!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I am not a procrastinator. It is very important to me to do things as quickly as I can. I am extremely aware of the seductive nature of manana — putting things off until tomorrow. But letting things slip into the future list of things to do is like letting them get sucked into a black hole. These tasks became harder each day to pull out and attend to. Each day something is put off, the harder it is to deal with. The easiest time to do something is right now. Just like addiction, putting something off one day — one day is too many and then 1,000 days is not enough to get to it!
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
My dog! The joy my dog gives me and others is beyond my understanding. The love she receives from me and others is amazing. I would love to be such a magnet or kernel of love wherever I go — and not even know it! She lives a blessed life. She is a Buddha, an unawares vehicle of love.