Sincerity

I'm a jerk sometimes. The other day, for example, I asked someone a question on a public mailing list. The question was of a kind that, in order to answer it, the person would have to admit to being a bonehead.

At the moment I posted my question, I had wanted the guy to admit he was a bonehead. But instead of saying, "You're a bonehead! Admit it!" I wrote something that looked like a question, but was in fact a statement — and an uncharitable statement, at that — masquerading as a question.

My non-question question was, among other things, insincere. I don't like being insincere. I knew as I was writing it that it was insincere. There's a particular feeling that I sometimes feel when I'm winding up to fling insincerity, and I felt it then.

And I ignored it. If I'd paid attention, I might have tried being sincere instead. I might have written, "You're a bonehead! Admit it!" And having written that, I might have realized that it was uncharitable, and was therefore not my truth. My truth is gentler than that. More compassionate. Always. So I would have known to search deeper to find my compassion and truth before hitting the send button.

A friend saw the question I'd posted, and forcibly pointed out what he thought of it. I had to admit that I'd been a bonehead. Having admitted that, I searched deeper, found my compassion and a little more of my truth, and apologized to the guy I'd whacked with my question.

I'm writing all of this as a reminder to myself. A reminder to notice that feeling of insincerity as it happens, and to respond by trying sincerity instead. And a reminder that my feelings will tell me about my truth, if I am willing to listen.

And, as always, the question at the end of my entry is more for me than for you. I hope you find as much value in it as I do.

What truths are your feelings trying to tell?

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