If there is one type of person I went through great lengths to avoid, it’s the hypocrite. I never believed in people who judged others harshly against their moral standards but then would live their lives doing everything they claimed to be against or worse. It wasn’t until one day when I caught myself saying, “I can’t stand hypocrites,” that I realized that I had been one, too.
I used to be harshly judgmental, and I wasn’t judgmental in the sense that it was particularly beneficial to me nor the person being judged. I, for one reason or another, got a kick out of thinking harshly of others, not even considering what I was doing.
See, we as a society have been inundated with the notion of belief systems, moral and ethical codes, and a multitude of different standards to which we are expected to adhere for reasons some of us don’t even understand. When we believe certain things, we are most likely to think that only what we have been taught is true and correct.
A person considered to be a hypocrite can be a pastor who preaches love and fidelity who hires prostitutes and cheats on his wife in the darkness. It could even be a person who fervently states that he or she loves being single and can only imagine operating that way but then ends up getting married after two weeks of dating a person. Either way, there’s no degree of hypocrisy – there is only a person who preaches or claims to be one thing but then does the polar opposite.
One conclusion about hypocrisy that most people don’t acknowledge is that at one point or another, we’ve all been hypocrites. For whatever reasons we may have for not aligning our actions with the lessons or believes we impart to one another, we’ve all been in the position of , “Do as I say and not as I do.”
Most recently, one of my dearest friends held a mirror to my face.
For years, I came from a place of staunch singlehood. I never wanted a boyfriend, I couldn’t fathom being around one person constantly, or wanting to be attached, for that matter. I always talked about how dumb I’d be if I committed myself to a relationship that was monogamous and so on and so forth. I wondered aloud why people wasted their time being attached. I’d never want that.
Out of nowhere, I fell in love. Hard. It literally felt as though I’d been shot in the ass with Cupid’s love arrow. All of these ridiculous feelings I never new existed came to the surface of my soul. In a few short weeks, the thoughts and feelings I projected about my being anti-attachment didn’t only fade away – they fell apart.
I tried in vain to fight my new feelings. I so desperately wanted to cling to my guns – I felt like being with him would cost me my independence I cherished above anything else in the world.
I literally went through an identity crisis: Who is this person who wants to be with this guy all the time? Why can’t I stop thinking about him? What the fuck happened?!?!? WHO AM I?