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I'm A Total Hypocrite!


hyp·​o·​crite ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit 

a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

Daydreaming on a recent walk with my dog, Haley, I was reminded, once again, that I am indeed a hypocrite! I say "again" because I had realized this once before as I was working my way through my parent-coaching certification program many years ago.

We had been assigned the book, Change The World by Robert E. Quinn. One section was called, Embrace the Hypocritical Self. I was like, "Okey-dokey Robert, why don't you embrace YOUR hypocritical self??" I figured this chapter would be a yawner and certainly not apply to me. OOF, was I in for a RUDE awakening!

As it turns out, we will all behave like hypocrites at one time or another. I don't think anyone goes through life without earning their hypocrite badge at least once, but parents tend to lead the pack in the "Who Can Be The Biggest Hypocrite" contest. Looking back to that time in my life, when I was reading that section while raising my 3 sons, turns out it was me! I was winning the contest, hands down, not-even-close!

Here are some of the ways I can remember:

  • insisting that my son keep his cool, even when he was angry. Anger was fine, acting like a maniac, not so much. The problem? Neither my husband nor I had much of a handle on this either. I could go straight to full-blown maniac status when my buttons were pushed.

  • having a policy of "always work hard and try your best." Sounds good in theory, but I didn't and still do not ALWAYS work hard and ALWAYS try my best. Sometimes I'm too tired. Sometimes I just can't get there to care that much.

  • saying things like, "I'm only doing this (asking this, saying this...) because I love you so much. NOPE, that wasn't why, not at all. The real truth is, it was for me. So I could feel better, so things would pan out in a way that I liked and that made me comfortable and happy.

There are many more ways I earned that badge, but I think you get the idea. There is freedom in embracing this knowledge and accepting it. It helped me to grow my empathy and understanding and made me a lot more mindful about what I asked of my kids.

We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change comes about almost unnoticed.

I thought I had gotten over my hypocrititis, but going back to that walk, it suddenly hit me that I have not yet healed from this particular disease. I had just sent my almost 21-year-old son off to spring break in Mexico, and I had literally taken over every aspect of planning for him and his two friends. Right down to re-packing one of their suitcases and checking them all in. Ugh! This is the opposite of what I would advise any of my clients to do. I'd say,

"Don't give unsolicited advice" AND

"Let them have their autonomy" AND

"If it doesn't go perfectly, that's ok, they'll learn some great lessons" and so on.

So, it appears, I am still a work in progress and I am accepting this about myself although I am recommitting my efforts to live closer to my values and to be mindful of my expectations of others. Onward and upward!

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