ponder | leaves of grass

do i contradict myself?

very well then i contradict myself;

i am large, i contain multitudes.

walt whitman

*my hubby is cringing at this right now.  not a whitman fan, my man.  sorry honey.

buuuut…whitman makes me think.  i don’t necessarily share his outlook or beliefs, but he articulates the exquisite and rough intricacies of the human experience and i dig that.

what i love about this is that it exposes the contradictions within us.  it reminds us that we all have that.  many thoughts.  many dreams.  many experiences.  many strengths.  many weaknesses.  we are messy.  complicated.  being contradictory is inherently human.

moreover, it reminds us to be sensitive to others.  what they feel or communicate one day – one moment, even – may differ from their former expression.  this can drive me mad when i see and hear it in others.  i am quick to pounce on inconsistencies.  quick to point out incongruity.  quick to label it as hypocritical, even.

and yet, i am so quick to accept it in myself.  i defend it.  i make excuses when i change my mind, when i expand and learn and grow.

perhaps a little golden rule application is in order.  a heartier dollop of grace for others.

i need this reminder.  we are each journeying through this life and collecting bits and pieces along the path.  we are progressing.  we must adapt.  we get better.  we stumble.  we gain wisdom.  new seasons bring freshness and an altered perspective. experiences of joy reveal the happiness and softness in us.  challenges bring out a remarkable, tucked away inner strength.  we rise to occasions.  we sit contentedly and wait.  we charge ahead.  we shrink back.  we yell.  we whisper.  we sob.  we sing.

i am so grateful to be a creature of complexity.  as messy as it may be, being made of multitudes is much more interesting.

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