Be A Hypocrite

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Apparently, I am a hypocrite. I do not always practice what I preach. Most days I believe that I am my brother’s keeper. Yet some days I walk passed someone in need; I turn my head and pretend not to see them, saying to myself, “This is not mine to do.”

I believe in anchoring my life in love and yet sometimes I enshroud myself in a wet blanket of fear. I say things I do not mean. I judge and run back to my safe place.

I believe in the power of possibility and yet there are days that I fill my cup to overflowing with “I can’t.” I invest with gusto in my disbelief and hide my gifts beneath a mound of doubt.

I preach the virtues of going slow. I believe in being present and yet at times I find myself racing to get somewhere. I tailgate other drivers wanting to “get there.”

I believe in the power of language and yet I have said hurtful things and am often unaware of what I am actually saying.

I believe intuition trumps intellect every time and yet I regularly justify and reason myself out of following my gut instinct. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my head (I call it my office) and talk on and on about being more in my body or in nature. Empty words.

I believe in loyalty and trust and yet at crucial moments in my life have chosen self-preservation; I did not throw myself under the bus to save the other.

I believe in self-love yet have given the farm away more times than I can count. I hurt my self regularly with my unwarranted self-judgments and unrealistic expectations. I hold myself to standards that I would never expect from others.

There are gaps everywhere. I am flawed, flawed, flawed. Accuse me of almost any hypocrisy and I will look you in the eye and admit my imperfection. I am human and by definition that means I am messy and riddled with contradictions. Hold me to a standard of perfection and I will utterly disappoint you. Ask me why I say one thing and do another and I will get angry and defend my belief even as I know that I have betrayed it with service to yet another belief.

What I do not believe is that the world is black and white. I do not believe in absolutes. For me, truth is found in the paradox. Life is lived in the contradictions. I grant my life the same principles that make color vibrant: there’s nothing like a touch of red to make the greens pop. If you really want to see the orange, surround it with something blue. As Quinn once told me, all religious traditions have one thing in common: they instruct us to find the middle way, seek the path between the pair of opposites. It is impossible to find the middle way by eliminating the contradictions; one must test the boundaries to know where they are. As Dan Pink writes, “Clarity depends on contrast.” Given my massive contradictions, I expect someday to be utterly clear for at least one brief moment. In case you expect my clarity to last be forewarned that I will most certainly follow my moment of clarity with wholehearted dedication to some new spectacular confusion.

2 Responses

  1. your spectacular confusion speaks best to me…and thanks for letting me know that the stated question can go unanswered…i needed to know that asking can be enough

  2. Brought to mind the image of the “bumper car” ride at the State Fair . . . forward-backward, against-for, toward-away from and how we “bounce back from” again and again.

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