January 20: Nicodemus and the Truth

Meditation: Nicodemus was the one Pharisee who secretly believed in Jesus and who would meet with him anonymously at night to have deep spiritual conversations, but would never acknowledge his association with Jesus in the light of day. This story shows us the quiet pain that comes from not honoring what we know to be true, even if all we know to be true are the questions we are asking. We each have a divine inner voice that opens us to truth and a mediating social voice that is reluctant to show its truth to others. True Self v False Self. Very often, we continue, out of habit or fear, to behave in old ways, even though we know that the way of things (or that we ourselves) has changed.

 

I see myself doing this all the time. Around certain people, actually around all people, I’m very sarcastic and cheeky. It’s really only with myself that I show my softer, sensitive, very vulnerable side. Most people don’t know I have a spiritual side and would probably not believe its authenticity. I noticed this disparity in my personality awhile ago and have tried to bridge the gap, but when I’m tasked with a response, I almost always have something super sassy to say. Even when not prompted, I’ll make some cynical or smart ass comment. There was a time when I was pretty self centered and just thought it was funny. Truth be told, I still think it’s amusing, which I think is the main reason why I continue making such remarks. But, I’m not that person anymore. I’m not gonna lie, I still find most people to be pretty annoying. But, whereas before I used to find such people insufferable, I now hold compassion for them, or at least try to. It’s definitely a work in progress and there are some people who I think are just dumb AF, but when I can remember to be mindful, I can also see the beauty that they hold.

So why do I continue to use my sharp tongue to cut people? Why do I engage in this split living? It’s probably because I think it’s funny and makes me stand out. Deep down, I think I just want people to like me so I try to say the things I know they’re thinking but are too afraid to say. But, not all things are meant to be uttered out loud! And in reality, this very behavior I use to try to get people to like me probably has the opposite effect. I’m probably also trying to protect myself by giving off a really strong vibe so as to intimidate people from attacking me. Isn’t this what bullies do? Geez am I a bully??

Okay, all labels and judgments aside, how do I get my outward behavior to be more in line with my inner self? I’m definitely softer than I used to be, but I still say things sometimes that are better left unsaid. I mean I guess I know what the answer is: mindfulness. I need to be more present in the now. It’s funny because that implies that I’m not even really present when I’m saying things to people. I guess we all kind of run on autopilot. That’s why habits are so hard to break. It really takes conscious, consistent effort. Okay, well, tomorrow is a new day and a new chance. Let’s see how it goes.

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