Interior reckonings

“You can’t be a friend if you are not willing to tell the truth. This doesn’t mean that you are right. Being right and being honest are not necessarily the same thing.”

—Paul Ferrini

I’m happier when I trust myself even if trusting myself sometimes leads to foolish choices.

Oh well.

I’ve always valued honesty and sought to be honest with others but it comes as a shock, still, to realize how dishonest I can be with myself.

Oh well.

My desire to be right, to prove myself right, is 0% about actually being right and 100% about feeling superior which is my equivalent of winning which is what I need to feel/do in order to feel safe, I guess. It’s a fucked-up emotional-mental complicated compensatory mess but

Oh well.

One of the most powerful things I’ve ever done is forgive myself for feeling guilty. About anything. Ever.

Turns out I can be a responsible decent human without guilt as a motivation.

Guilt is the least honest motivation. When I’m doing decent responsible things to alleviate or escape guilt, who am I serving? Who am I really thinking about?

Not others, certainly.

But I’m pretending it’s about others.

It’s dishonest. The worst kind, the deep kind, the devious delusional kind of dishonesty I have to support and hide because it’s got a whole facade of decency built on it and only I know that it’s really about making myself feel better.

Better, I think, to ignore guilt as a motivation. To forgive myself for ever feeling guilt. To disregard it. To dismiss it entirely. I mean, I still feel it: but I can quit letting it be important.

Instead, I can do what I choose to do, for myself, honestly. Or at least as honest as I can be in this moment.

And maybe doing what I want to do will be seen as decent and kind and respectable and responsible, or not.

In the end, the only person I have to answer to is myself,

And the only peace that is real is the peace that comes from being honest with myself,

the absence of internal conflict,

which is necessary, I think, before freedom can be real. Because honesty is the price of freedom. You’ve got to have the coin before you can pay the price.