I think most of us have a “good-ness” barometer measuring ourselves and others. Are we honest enough, kind enough, generous enough? I mean, it’s good to be virtuous. So, it’s only natural to want to signal to others that we are so.
When I’ve posed those questions to myself through various stages of my evolution, the answer has mostly been the same. A resounding, “Of course I’m honest and kind and generous!”
This my friends, is denial. How do I know? 20/20 hindsight. Unless you’re a complete sociopath, most of us do try our best not to be dishonest flakes. But who can relate to feeling drained and unable to connect authentically and just feel the need to withdraw into a soft and cushy coccoon for a little while, perhaps sunning by the oceanside being fanned with palm fronds by minions with sculpted bods sipping on a refreshing cocktail?
Maybe it’s because we’re taking on more commitments, more responsibilities, being everyone’s hero and inspiration, giving without bounds, because that’s what it means to be a good person. And we all want to be good.
It makes me consider this possibility. Being virtuous is arduous when at the root of it lies the demon need for validation. And then guess what we end up doing? We start hiding, maybe even outright lying, and flaking.
It’s not all as hopeless as it seems because typically, the actions that we take to signal our virtue result in generally good and positive and beneficial things for humankind. But if you find yourself oddly anxious or fatigued, dig deeper into your soul. Ask yourself why? Often, it just takes a teeny shift of perspective to understand what’s actually at play.
True virtue isn’t about how we’ll be perceived by others. That’s still ego. And I’m not even lecturing here. I’m actually confessing. We all lie to ourselves at some point in time. We all lie to each other at some point in time. And you are lying if you say you never lie. So let’s all just take the shame out of lying right now. 😂
Maybe the goal is to be 100% authentic and accountable. Life isn’t black and white. I’ve learned that at times, a partial truth can serve the greater purpose. Especially when it’s trying to trick yourself into doing something you thought wasn’t possible. You know, like 100 miles on a treadmill in one shot. 🤣
Let’s stop being judge and jury. Is it anyone’s place to tell you “the truth”, even if it might be just that? Haven’t you noticed the dearth of grace these days? I think it’s a best practice to give (and receive) grace, because we all come to our truths at our own pace and readiness. Insert God stuff here.
I have made a commitment to be as authentic as possible in what I say and do. It might be authentically craptastic, but it’s authentic.