Aug. 22nd, 2013

pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
I'm just going to admit this up front: this post was inspired by someone who claimed to never get jealous yelling at me for flirting with someone she didn't even have a right to be territorial over. This annoyed me deeply. I think I'm channeling this into positive philosophical musings, but I'm prepared to hear it's just passive aggressive whining.

G-d willing, none of us are as good as we want to be. That would mean we had stopped striving to become better, and that's pretty much death. This is what is dangerous about making hypocrisy the worst sin: wanting to be better is the first step to becoming better.* I don't want to ban people from talking about being better or wanting better until they've conclusively proven they're better and never going to relapse. That's not the only source of hypocrisy, or even the largest by volume, but I think preserving space to strive is worth putting up with some sanctimony.

So, you're human, you don't want to be bothered by a thing, but you are. What do you do? I think there is real beauty and grace in taking the actions that your best would would, and accepting the discord between that and what your current self wants as growing pains. Unpleasant, but something that will pass and leave good things in is wake. You don't have to hide that pain either, you can acknowledge it, even to the people who are causing it, if you do it right. The script in this particular case is "I feel jealous. I'm not asking you to change your behavior, or feel bad, but please accept that I need to go do self care things now."

But there is also beauty and grace in accepting yourself as you are now, and making the lesser choice, because you're not yet ready to be that big. It doesn't lock in that state forever, it doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't make you a hypocrite for not living up to your values. It's loving yourself and accepting that you cannot instantly be everything you want to be. In practice, that could look like "I know I said I don't get jealous but I really don't like watching you flirt with that guy, would you stop on my account?"**

There is ZERO beauty and grace is claiming a virtue, shaming those you don't think sufficiently demonstrate it, faltering when called to demonstrate it, and then taking the shame of that failure out on the witnesses. That is just annoying

*A friend of mine has dedicated this year to the power of cognitive dissonance for that exact reason.
**To be fair, the answer in this specific case would have been "no." Sometimes the mature option is your only option.


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