By Vince Shifflett

Am I who I say I am? Do my actions line up with my words? Do I always fully embody what I write about? As a writer, I felt it necessary to ponder this question for myself. This pondering led to a deeper reflection of the question, Am I who I say I am?

Is my inner self a true reflection of my outer self?

There are times when I feel my true spirit is completely overshadowed by my human behavior. I find myself writing and sharing knowledge but do I always use that knowledge? There are times I actually feel fake. Not intentional at all. My intention is to be what I write about. I must admit, it doesn’t always happen.

I say I am Love. Do my actions always reflect love towards ALL beings?

I say I am Peace. Am I peaceful? Do I promote peace at work, home, in my family, and in my everyday life or do I contribute to the discord and division?

I say I am inclusive. Do I really see EVERYONE as equal?

I say I am kind. Do I practice kindness with EVERYONE I see and in every situation?

I say I believe. Do I let go of the fear and just trust?

I say I am happy and fulfilled but am I really?

There seems to be a purposeful intention in today’s news and social media environment to mislead. It has become difficult to distinguish what is really truth and what is misleading information. Are people who they say they are?  A lot of mistruths have surfaced recently in the news, in politics, and on social media. Everyone seems to be looking at others instead of looking at themselves.

In my writing I have more recently began to share more personal things about my life including my sexual orientation. All in an effort to be who I say I am. For most of my younger adult life and childhood life, I wasn’t who I said I was. I pretended to be something different out of fear. I pretended to be something different so I would be accepted. I pretended to be something different so I wouldn’t “go to hell” as the church taught me that being gay was an abomination and sin. I was afraid to say who I really was. It seemed more acceptable to pretend and be dishonest.

This one thing I do know. My actions never line up with my words 100% of the time. Does anyone’s?

Perhaps the best I can do is to be more mindful of what I say, in an effort to do and be just that. I believe I have the right intentions but there are challenges along the way that I allow to veer me away from those intentions.  It is then that I become something different from what I write about. It is my intention to be love. It is my intention to be peace. It is always my intention to be inclusive and kind.

When I write, I am actually writing to myself realizing that the things I write about are things I need more work on. They are things I need to be more conscious of. I am a work in progress and would never pretend to be anything else.

The mission of what I say through my writing is: To Create Change and Stimulate Self-Healing. Key word here is self. I have been incredibly blessed that it has also created change and stimulated self-healing in many of you.  For that I am deeply grateful.

Writing actually increases my awareness of what I say. I will continue to try and be what I say. It is my desire to be the same person at home, at church, at work, around family, friends, and in my everyday life. I recognize that to be anything else is a bit hypocritical. 

Are you who you say you are?  
Are you exactly who you portray yourself to be on social media? It is not so much about the words as the action. We’ve all heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” My pastor used to say, “Some people will worship God in church and then go home and kick the cat.” Are you “praising Jesus” on Sunday morning and arguing with your family on Monday?

I will leave you with a Japanese quote.

Many people have 3 faces. The first face you show the world. The second face you show your close friends and family. The third face you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.

Be the same person.  At home. At church. At work. Out with friends. It’s called authenticity. That’s my true deep desire and intention. I will continue to work on that in my personal life as I am a continual work in progress. Grateful to be in a new awareness.

Vince is an author, registered nurse, and blogger living in Atlanta. He routinely writes on matters affecting our physical, mental, and spiritual health as well as topics related to relationships. You can follow him on his website at vinceshifflett.com as well as on Facebook and Instagram.