Your actions are stronger than your convictions and doing what you say holds considerably more weight than the declaration itself because you’re living truth. This speaks to the numerous ways that you respond to opportunities in your life that support your beliefs. Signing an online petition vs. going to a protest is an example. Another would be how you want to be remembered. Are you a living example of how you wish to be perceived or influence your environment? It’s one thing to preach an ideal; it’s entirely another to be the change.
When we discuss getting involved or what we’re doing, there’s a bit of posturing that goes into this. We all want to practice what we preach and preach without being so self-indulgent. It’s a tough balance. I can think of many instances where I gave an impassioned rant about a political or ethical issue, but when had the last time been that I actively took a stand? Are we living our truth?
Being busy doesn’t make us hypocrites, not exactly, but it also doesn’t make us leading experts or supporters either. For years I called myself an artist, while I was in a massive dry spell. I was not a person who had practiced or produced art for many years. Once the prompts and assignments of art school were no longer stimulating new ideas, I stopped producing.
I thrived in learning environments, loved enrichment, and when given a prompt or an assignment, I’d dominate. But left to my own devices? Any motivation to produce creatively suddenly dissipated.
I couldn’t seem to find my creativity. I’d sit and stare at my art supplies. The block was this massive, indomitable wall that had erected itself between myself and my creativity, a monument or memorial to my days as an artist.
Could I still call myself an artist? Well, no. Not to me. I couldn’t exactly live with that, so I stopped saying it. That humbling modification of my identity got me to thinking. If I believed it – that I was an artist – and I wanted it (I did) then why wasn’t I producing art and living my truth? Why was I feeling sorry for myself when it was I who was not taking action? It came down to a few key reasons:
- Fear: I hadn’t done it in so long I wasn’t sure if I was still able
- Time: It had gotten away from me, I didn’t realize how little I had to show for the years
- Laziness: It’s always easier said than done
- Low Self-Esteem: Why would I want to share my shortcomings with others?
What I learned was that I had been clinging to an idea that was ultimately holding me back. The terms I’d been thinking in had caused me to see myself as a damaged artist. Rather than seeing the path of my creativity as something fluid, with ebbs and flows in itself, I had trapped myself into believing that I had lost something. That I no longer belonged where I once had.
In truth, it was that our lives require action. Life and opportunity are not turn-key. Once we put out an affirmation, the Universe expects something more. We cannot spout requests or wishes as fact; we must live in such a way that we become that which we want to be.
It’s vital to project what it is that we want. We sometimes must modify our lifestyle to accommodate a belief or way of life. These small sacrifices help to preserve your joy in those tiny, fleeting moments.
We have to choose to live with integrity. That means following through with what we say we will and showing up for causes that are meaningful to our experience and aligned with our joy; To protect our experience and ensure that we stay in alignment with our belief systems. We have much to gain from being true to ourselves and each other.