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July 19, 2009


What I am learning about hypocrisy…

by Andrea O'Connell

In an effort to frame past experiences, learn from them, and grow as a result, I am coming back to this topic to further reflect upon my original thoughts regarding the meaning of hypocrisy. 

It would not be honest of me to claim to have never acted/reacted to situations negatively or disingenuously.   I think that many of us – on our path to self actualization, or fulfillment, or enlightenment, or whatever name(s) you want to apply to becoming a more whole and loving person – we all struggle.  But, I am learning now that when I recognize my previous attraction to negativity – when I have an attack of inner hypocrisy – when I see it for what it is, I am better able to stop it in its tracks.  Awareness is key. 

The secret, I believe, is after someone has hurt or disappointed you – look at it, hold it, examine it, see how it hurts, get angry if you have to, cry if you have to, but then move on without blame or loathing.  What is key here is that you cannot move on until you forgive yourself, and then, most importantly, you must forgive whomever you have allowed to hurt you. (No one can really hurt us unless we allow it.)

This is what I am learning, anyway, as I continue to reflect and apply critical thinking to my reactions to others in my environment. 

It is not fair or just to judge others; there is not a single one of us on this earth perfect enough to not have experienced thoughts that were hypocritical at one time or another in our life. The big difference, however, has to do with seeing and correcting yourself should a tendency for harsh or judgmental responses start to creep into your daily dialogue. 

It is so much more healthy to be tolerant, kind and accepting of other’s foibles and “dramas” especially when we remember that we are all only human!  However, when hypocrisy gets to a point that is cruel, devious, or harmful, then it is imperative to move to a different landscape, away from that negative element, away from those in your life who engage in those behaviors. Negativity harms both our bodies and our spirits.

I am learning to trust myself and allow myself more time to make careful and loving assessments about others.  Not to judge harshly, rather to look at behavior and actions, especially as to how people in my circle of trust treat others.  Despite how dearly I have loved a friend in the past – if their deeds, words or responses to others are in a critical or negative vein versus being on the side of acceptance or reaching out with a positive, gentle, non-discriminatory and compassionate ways, then I must step back and ask myself what is the purpose of that game? What will come of demeaning other people? For what purpose? What does it do for us in the end – what do we learn by endlessly criticizing others?  Well, I have the answer now.  Nothing will come of it but bitterness.  Nothing is gained from it, we learn only to become angry critics of life when we succumb to that.  An angry critic is surely not a hat that I want to wear – not a place where I’d like to be!

The path that is gentle, that loves, that is accepting, and that will somehow promote continous learning, growth, and improvement whether by serving others, or simply by spreading kindnesses every which way – like how a cool breeze on a hot summers day delights expansively those in its path.  It’s nice to be in the path of a cool breeze.

In my little corner of the world, I know that the path I am on is a cool,  gentle, and good one.

My heart is intact.  I hope yours continues to be, too.

Love & peace.


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anna
    Jul 19 2009

    I just wanted to tell you that I am enjoying seeing your posting and enjoy your writing. Anna

  2. Debbie
    Jul 19 2009

    Amen Andrea….we all can learn by your inspiring words!!!!!

    • Andrea
      Jul 19 2009

      Thank you, Debbie… It surely is a path to awareness, and learning…. and, it’s not always easy! Cheers! Andrea


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