Do you feel like your self-esteem is where it needs to be? There’s nothing wrong with dreaming the dream or longing for a world full of satisfying relationships. The real challenge is to look at your own truth first, and then to look at the truth of who and what stands before you, beyond the obvious, into the essence of what you are seeking, to see whether the search is, indeed, available to you. Any morality you cherish must truly express your most authentic core self. Hopefully your morality remains applicable and upheld under all circumstances, otherwise it’s merely what can be described as ‘relative’ ethics. If you value honesty, for instance, you cannot pick and choose when, where and with whom you are honest. Being honest can easily see you in conflict with those you love the most. Have you ever held onto a thought that contradicted what those closest to you agreed was reality? How did you reconcile the unexpected conflict?
When these conflicts arise it’s common to feel righteous and ‘dig in.' Such an idiosyncratic belief is especially common in cases of satisfying relationships gone awry. Many people entertain minor false imaginings that preserve and perpetuate stories we’ve created to shield us from the realities of what our morals would identify as the truth. Being morally sound can only happen over time and repetition and can help bring joy and stability through restoring order when the proverbial scales get tipped. Being right-sized in your own estimation requires self-confidence, contentment, and a tempered basis for constructive criticism.
Living successfully by our own internal compass is impossible to hold in isolation from those around us, we must stay connected to societal norms. At different times in your life, you may find major discrepancies between your internal idea of a moral life and the way you actually live. If treating others as you would be treated is the style of life you desire, do you find it easy to adhere to this principle when you feel challenged or stressed? Nowhere is moral shortcoming more prevalent than in the intersection between our espoused morality and the way we engage with those we love the most. In truth, how we believe is a microcosm of the way that we are in the world.
Satisfying relationships are the ultimate laboratory where you can actually try out new ways of relating to those you value most, while being conscious and mindful of how you impact those around you. It takes great humility and courage to love completely without complete understanding. Sometimes recovering our integrity in the present involves a moral inventory of past mistakes. How are you accountable today for the actions of your past? Whether moral, immoral, or amoral, can you see your part clearly in the major circumstances of your life?