Some quotes stick with you once the words echo in your ears. For me, this has been the case with Maya Angelou’s quote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
I found myself in an internal struggle with these words. I believe that things are rarely what they appear to be on the surface. That, even when we remove the masks and facades that we tend to wear as people, we are incredibly diverse and complex beings.
To state that someone can show you who they are the first time means that you are projecting the assumption that this person fully understand who they are within themselves.
Now let me ask you this, how many of you fully understand who you are in this now moment? Fully…completely…truly?
We are all on this journey of discovery. To judge and evaluate another is to limit our opportunity to know them. This is not stating that we shouldn’t set healthy boundaries as we are all finding our way.
But, to assume that people are unable to change mirrors back that we, too, are not able to shift as we learn more about ourselves. Is this the path we are choosing to walk?
I love and honor Maya Angelou and thank her for the opportunity to consider these words. I may not align with them, but I am grateful that they sparked the chance for me to look deeper within and understand why.
That is the strength in words and the very point in this post. We aren’t all going to agree and we aren’t all going to align. But, we are ever changing, ever exploring, ever shifting in our awareness. What you know and believe today will likely not be the same in five years and certainly won’t be the same in fifty years.
So yes, in my view, people can and do change ♥ often.
In Life Coaching there are many topics that arise, but cheating is a fairly consistent theme. From cheating on partners or diets to cheating for financial gain or recognition, this act of dishonesty leaves most wondering why it happens at all – including many of those who do it.
I have observed a fairly consistent pattern in those who cheat and this is what I would like to discuss in this post. I’m not claiming it to be anything other than my observation and I am posting as something for those who are interested to consider.
But, before we get to the pattern, let’s make certain we have a common definition for the word. Cheating is defined as:
1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage.
2. avoid something undesirable by luck or skill.
Now that we have a common definition from which to base this discussion, what is this pattern that seems to be present in those who do it?
It’s quite simple really, the ego is out of balance (either too high or too low), often leading to a desire to control, avoid or seek validation from external sources.
Let’s begin with those who have an ego that shifts from balanced to high. These individuals tend to cross the line from confidence to conceit and begin to desire power and control. Those who hold this desire begin to feel justified in doing whatever is necessary to generate an outcome in their favor. If this includes acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, then that is what they will do. The drive to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events far outweighs the desire to be honorable in principles, intentions and actions. These individuals often evaluate their self-worth by their external power and control.
Now, what happens when ego goes the other way? Individuals who have a low ego (low self-esteem) tend to seek balance by obtaining the approval of others. When they don’t feel worthy enough, they may also attempt to avoid the feeling with alternate sources (food, drugs, alcohol, etc.).
Why is this important to know?
When your sense of self-worth is centered and balanced, there is no need for control, external validation or avoidance. The desire to cheat in any fashion is gone. There is a realization that there is simply no need for it. You feel whole and complete as you are. You are in this state of self-love and self-confidence that is neither low nor high. It is a beautiful state of being and completely achievable.
How do you achieve it? The first step is to understand where you fall in your own self-esteem and self-worth in this current moment. Once you have the strength to look at where you are, you can begin to understand what it will take to navigate through any tendencies that are preventing you from being balanced.
It isn’t easy to face ourselves and realize that we may have growth to do in the area of balancing our ego. But, not admitting it is cheating ourselves out of a truly blissful state of being.
Remember: Only when we are completely, totally and fully honest with ourselves can we begin to transform into what we truly desire.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Why are we compelled to conceal the truth with falseness? Is it love or fear that drives the decision?
I am now one of those annoying people who will not lie. I may choose not to participate in a conversation or may tell someone directly that I would prefer not to answer a question, but I will not provide a false answer to “protect” or “save” someones feelings. I do this out of love and honor for all that I am sharing my time, space and energy with – including myself.
I am the first to admit I was not always an Honest Abe. Previously, I had the perception that it was better to tell a little white lie, one that wasn’t necessarily hurting anyone, than it was to hurt someone’s feelings. After all, we all do it. In fact, we are so conditioned to it that we nearly desire others to lie to us to save our feelings. In many cases we would rather be told that we look nice in something than be told the truth if something doesn’t fit us well. In essence, we have created a culture where it is better to be false than to speak truth.
But, I have now come to realize that every time I was false I wasn’t only false to the person I had told the lie to, I was also false with myself. I wasn’t speaking from my heart so that I might face my experience. I was speaking from what I believed others desired me to say so that I could avoid it. In doing this, I was denying myself the opportunity to realize the true value in the exchange. Over time, that had an impact. I had missed many opportunities to grow on a soul level, and to possibly assist other in the same way. My unhealthy avoidance cycle through little lies in an effort to keep the peace ultimately prevented me from speaking my truth.
Once I took time to observe this cycle and choose to end it, this was the lesson I found:
Nothing good ever comes from a lie – big or small. If we desire something true, we have to be truthful first – both with ourselves and those around us. It all begins within. ♥
If you love something, set it free
If it comes back to you, it’s yours
If it doesn’t, it never was
I have heard this saying uttered to me often in my life, as friends and family sought ways to be supportive during times of transition. I always appreciated the gesture but, to be completely honest, the phrase itself has never made much sense to me and here is why.
It begins with the first line…if I love something, I should set it free. In my view, if I love something it should already be free. This line would indicate that I have somehow controlled or held captive the object of my love and need to take steps to release it to validate that I own it’s love. I would offer that this isn’t love. Love is a choice between two beings in every moment. It isn’t forced or manipulated – it is simple and beautiful.
Then we move to the second line…if it comes back to me, it is mine. Uhm…no, it’s not. First, all I own in this world is the energy that I create from the experiences that I share, the rest I simply borrow until I transition. Think about it, what do we take with us when we pass on? If something was ‘mine,’ it would move on with me, but it doesn’t.
Second, I have always felt the notion that someone you love ‘is yours’ is like a two-year old with a toy screaming ‘mine, mine, mine’ every time someone comes close. No person belongs to anyone else. There is no ownership – there is choice. And, when we choose one another, the depths of love are amazing. We know that person is with us in every moment not because they have to be or because we are forcing them to be, but because they desire to be and are choosing to be.
Now, to the last line. Simply because something (or someone) chooses to move on to another experience in their life does not mean that they did not love us fully and completely in the time that we shared together. To shift our love to anger simply because someone we love is journeying onward in life may possibly indicate that we didn’t fully loved them, not the other way around.
When we love, fully and completely, we desire joy and happiness for those we give this love to – not anger that they didn’t come back to us. If our response is that the person was never truly ours, it might be a wonderful opportunity for inward reflection.
I know what many might be thinking – this is simply a phrase to help people feel better as they are waiting to see if someone or something they love is going to return to them. But, words carry energy. These phrases mean something and, as a world society, it is important that we begin to start taking a step back from them and ask what they truly mean to us.
Stop using words and phrases that don’t resonate with us and create new ones that do. Break old cycles of control that we may not even realize are there and stand upon new cycles of freedom and love.
Yours in love always ~Amber