On Trying To Follow My Own Advice

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Hypocrite- Greek: hypokrites

1) An interpreter

2) An actor, a stage player

3) A disguiser, concealer, pretender

I have always found the greek definition of hypocrite interesting. If you were a talented performer on stage in Jesus’ day, people would say, “Isn’t he a good hypocrite?” A hypocrite is someone who acts like something that he is not.

As seen in the above definition, a hypocrite was also the greek word for an interpreter. This is an intriguing definition. An interpreter says words, but they are not his own words. They sound like his words, but they are actually someone else’s.

Hypocrite is a loaded word. If I tell you that I am a hypocrite then you might see a picture of me, little redheaded songwriter, walking around with a three foot plank sticking out of my eye. Ouch.

Or you will see me as a televangelist with enormous redheaded bangs and a ridiculous amount of makeup, crying profusely and asking for forgiveness because I spent $400,000 on a lear jet when the money was supposed to go to orphans.

So, it’s a bit drastic to say that I’m a hypocrite.

Instead, let’s put it this way:

Sometimes, I need to follow my own advice. 

Let me tell you about my experience this year: I started writing a blog on singleness for fun. It’s not even because it’s the topic I know most about, or even am most interested in. I actually am very passionate about things like community development and taking care of the poor, and sometimes I would rather write about that because I’ve studied it more. (Plus, it’s embarrassing to check out eighteen books at the library on dating. I feel like a much better person when I am checking out Henri Nowen and Thomas Merton books.)

But I knew a lot of people that had frustrations with being single and knew they would probably be more willing to read about that in a blog. And it was on my mind a lot as well. So I started writing about it. Suddenly people were listening to me. People were asking me for advice. (People also started calling me the Sexy Celibate in public which was slightly embarrassing.)

All of the sudden, I had to consistently write good posts about, of all things, love. 

My confession, dear readers, is that I have only seriously dated three guys in my life. Some people have that many boyfriends in two weeks. Do I even deserve this blog?

And guess what else? I hate going on dates. Especially online dating first dates or dates with people I don’t know. I really hate small talk and I really hate getting my hopes up and I really hate hurting people, so I would basically rather have my teeth drilled. (I do, however, like the free food.)

But wait, there’s more! I am super, uber, ridiculously bad at flirting. One of my best friends had to give me lessons on it the other day. She showed me how to touch a guys arm and make eye contact. Because my whole life, I have defaulted to practically ignoring someone that I am attracted to so they won’t think I like them. I don’t understand why I do that. I think I got into the habit in middle school and never stopped.

The results have been staggeringly successful, if you count three guys in a whole lot of years as successful.

Another friend challenged me to straight out ask a guy on a date. I said “I am going to destroy you” with a voice like Darth Vader and fire shooting out from my eyes. I don’t know why that came out of my mouth.

Obviously, I have a teensy bit of fear there when it comes to putting myself out there.

Therefore, it is pretty ironic that I am writing a blog and a book about love. Sometimes, because I am such a novice at all of this, it is hard for me to follow all of my own expert advice.

For example, in my post Signs, Signs, Everywhere the Signs, I talk about how being too dependent on signs is not a  good way to go about making decisions when it comes to love.

After I wrote that post, I was interested in someone for a season and looked for signs harder than a near sighted truck driver.

I got my signs. Really good, story worthy signs. It turns out that that those signs weren’t the best way to determine my fate with this person. Just like I said. 

Whoops.

In Throw Away Your List, I talked about how you shouldn’t settle, but you should also be willing to give people a chance.

Then I was on match.com for a while and skipped over certain people. Like the guy who says he’s looking for someone who is good and the kitchen. Or the guy with the picture of him with his arm around his ex girlfriend. Or the middle aged guy with no shirt on holding a beer. (No I am not joking. That was a real match.) Maybe those guys didn’t really deserve my views. But I also didn’t really look at the perfectly nice guys who I simply doubted I would be attracted to.

Oh no! Am one of those shallow people I talked about in my post?

Then, in What Single People Wish Married People Knew, I talked about how frustrated I get when I hear the sentence “If you let go, he will come.” I often replied “if Kevin Costner comes here and builds a baseball field, then and only then will I let go and he will come. Until that happens, I am sticking to holding on with a death grip.”

Now, I have this little problem. My thoughts and motivation wander too much towards getting married. If I’m not careful, it steals away my joy and hypnotizes me into a state where I forget all of the people around me who need love.

Guess what? I need to let go. The very advice that I was angry about getting is what I need the most.

I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, though. Even if I don’t have a ton of experience dating, I do have a lot of experience being single. (Well, maybe it’s better defined as angst than experience. Two hundred seventy pages worth of angst, in fact. I am hoping I will get healthier so that my next book can be called Angsty No More. Except that sounds like a really horrible romance novel. )

Another good reason that it is okay for me write this blog is that I am a very observant person. I am good at putting my observations into words. I am good at pulling the wisdom out of my own life and the lives of people I love and putting it into a neat little package so people can learn. Even if I’m not dating enough to really live all of that wisdom out. (I’m trying people! I’m trying!)

So if you get down to it, I am not a hypocrite. I am just a human, trying to walk this journey with other humans.

My motivation is not necessarily to be right in all of my posts. It is to tell my truth. It is to help people make better decisions and live better lives. It is to look at my life and sort through what I have done right and what I can do better. Not because I live with lots of regrets, but simply because I want be wiser person. A person that can give sound advice, even if it is sometimes difficult to follow all of that advice.

So how about everyone forgive me, and then help me get this big old stick out of my eye?

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