Justification

Window display, Valley Village, California

Window display, Valley Village, California

The hardest work you'll never enjoy

When we justify behavior we have chosen for ourselves, we are taking on extra maintenance work that is exceedingly arduous, and the payoff is negligible at best.

We have probably all done it. We engage in some socially embarrassing behavior. We regret it. Instead of admitting that we made a mistake, we compound the problem by propping up a rickety structure with excuses.

Our ego self-identifies as a personality that needs defending in order to stay safe. The kind of safety that justification buys is illusory. It is like the presidential candidate who changes the subject when he is unprepared with a ready answer. It takes very little time for observers to glean that he is actually ignorant of the topic at hand. Such a candidate does little to inspire confidence in his ability to lead.

A better strategy is to simply admit the wrong as soon as possible and move on. The present needs our attention, and if we are rehashing events in the past or dreading the future, we cheat the world of our honest intention and action in the here and now.

Grounding ourselves in truth is ultimately the easier policy. We no longer need to remember the excuse, carry the baggage, feel defensive about the lying, or keep it all sorted in our mind. We reduce the risk of coming off like a shady used car salesman to others.

Our meditation practice aids us in cutting through to the simple truth of the matter. The juggling act is over. We can simply be.

Appearing to others as we are not is indeed hard work. Aligning ourselves with reality and truth is the easier, softer way.

Friendly nuzzle, Vrindavan, India

Friendly nuzzle, Vrindavan, India