I saw this meme going around, and it really struck a chord in me. There’s a lot of similar quotes and sayings, but most of them have a more… negative tone. I like that this one starts with the affirmation that someone WANTS to be what they talk about being, but who they are is their actions.
To me, that says that people are striving to be better, want to be something more than they are, but don’t know how.
I’m guilty of this. I know I am. My “Gonna Be Alright” blog post was only up for three days before I was upset over things again. But by writing that post, by saying those things to myself and anyone who will listen, I’m a little closer to being ‘alright’.
Life is not black and white. No one fits in a box. No one is ALWAYS who they say they are, or were. Sometimes we cannot see our own truths. It’s easy to judge someone, to pick out their flaws when you’re standing back, observing and watching from a distance.
Yet even as we do this, we can never truly know someone. What seems black and white, what seems to be hypocritical, or wrong, may not be as it appears. What that person is doing may be the best way they know to become who they say they want to be. Or perhaps they got lost on the way.
Or maybe they’re truly two faced.
We can never know these things, because we can never truly know another person. We can only take our own view point and apply it as best we can to understand the feelings, thoughts and actions of another person.
Every person has a life time of experiences that have shaped who they are. Even those who we know well have their own secret world, their own reactions and feelings to even shared events.
Appearing to be hypocritical an being hypocritical are two different things. Don’t get me wrong, some people are just manipulative liars and know full well what they’re doing. Others, perhaps, deserve the benefit of the doubt.
I know I would like to have the benefit of the doubt when I say one thing and do another.
There are plenty of times in my life where I said I felt one way, may have even had a passionate opinion about the subject, and then found that I had been wrong. I’ve learned and grown so much in my life, my thoughts and opinions have grown with me. Each lesson learned shapes my actions. And sometimes it takes a while to learn how to apply those lessons to my actions.
I think it’s important to realize sometimes we really do have to fake it ’till we make it. Talk, even self-talk can be the best therapy. Sometimes we need a sounding board, a sympathetic ear to nod and make suggestions. Sometimes we just need to sit down and think.
Personally, I enjoy writing out my thoughts. Journaling can be extremely beneficial . It’s a tradition that dates back to at least the 10th century for a reason. No one has to see what we’ve written, but we can still get those thoughts down and out of our heads. Simply being able to take our feelings and separate them from ourselves can give us the distance we need.
We aren’t our emotions. We feel emotions, but they are not us. They do not dictate how we act. I am not anger, I feel anger. I am not sadness (as much as I love her in Inside Out) I feel sadness. Writing these feelings down can help us see them for what they are, and perhaps, help us work out what to do and how to deal with these emotions.
We also must be kind to ourselves. Though we may fail at walking the talk, we are not that failure. When I fail at being happy, at pushing negativity out with confidence and determination like I talked about in my previous blog post, I am not a failure. I just failed in that situation.
It doesn’t make me a hypocrite, even if it seems like it. It doesn’t mean I lied. It just means I’m learning. Trial and error is a perfectly valid method of learning.
So I’m going to conclude this entry of my very public journal with some thoughts on the bust image I found to use for this. The image is Janus, the Roman god of gateways. I found this while looking for an image at the New York Public Library‘s new public domain gallery.
I thought it perfectly symbolized the two faced notion of hypocrisy, but when I started reading about who Janus was, I loved it even more. He is a benevolent creator, a god of change and transitions, beginnings and ends. And so, I’d like to leave off on that note.
Though we may not always do as we say, as long as we are aware of our hypocrisy and are working towards transitioning into who we want to be, it’s not such a bad thing.