There is a phrase so popular that it has become almost a cliche — remain true to ourselves. It is a good phrase, and caries with it lot of good feedback if followed. Nonetheless, the phrase does contain one very obvious problem, and that is that most of us don’t really have a clue as to who the hell we are.
We are, each of us, an extraordinary combination of genetics and experience. Everyone we have ever met affects us in some way, everything we have read reflects in the person that we are. Yet, there is in each of us an almost undefinable sense of “I” that we live with every day.
We are neither master to the “I”, nor are we it’s slave. We can try to shape it, and we can to some extent, but some pieces of it will only bend so far before they either stop moving, or will break off entirely.
So what this “I” is changes subtly from moment to moment, and from day to day.
It has been said that the true measure of one’s character is not in what they say, but in what they do. This, likewise, holds some truth. Unless the person is deliberately lying, what a person says they are is the shape they want themselves to take. When what a person does contradicts the words they say, this demonstrates the degree to which we have failed, for whatever reason, to shape ourselves into the person we wish to become.
Thus, this allows people to say they are one thing, and yet do something completely different, and yet allow the original statement to remain true. They can WISH they were the thing that they say they were. The can BELIEVE that they are capable of making true to their wishes, for they wish it so badly, yet, for whatever reason, they are unable to bend the “I” to make it conform to their wishes.
Thus, they beat up on themselves. Label themselves as untrustworthy failures. The labels we give ourselves often make it so. We don’t know how to bend ourselves to our desires and thus we quit trying.
What I want myself to be and who I seem to be in reality are not the same thing. I continue to make effort to bend my reality to my desires, but I am beginning to run out of ideas as to how to make this happen and grow despairingly at my ability to ever do so.
Thus, it is my own fallibilities that make me so forgiving of others. I understand how hard I struggle to be who I feel I “should” be, yet remain stubbornly as I am. I also stubbornly refuse to accept that who I am is who I will always be, so I continue to make statements of intent and fail to live up to them.
Through observation, I believe that most people share the same struggles. Forgiveness is easy for me, for by forgiving them I find it easier to forgive myself. My struggle to shape “who I am” is never ending, for there are aspects of who I seem to be that are unacceptable to me.
The world, and the people in it, are not black and white. Even those we consider evil face their own struggles between right and wrong (or at least I like to believe they do). I am imperfect, thus I generalize that all are imperfect. I struggle to forgive myself for my imperfections, so I thus struggle to forgive the imperfections in others.
And thus this is who I am, an thus how I define myself. Forgiveness to me is not so much a matter of choice, but simply a facing of reality as I see it.
Peace to all, and may those who are now hurting find some solace in my words