What If…Practice Introspection

I was 👟running on the trail when I started to smell smoke. It’s not uncommon to smell smoke from a barbecue or the smell of a woodpile 🔥burning. It wasn’t those kinds of smoke, though. This was 🚬cigarette smoke. As I came upon a bench that sits just off to the side of the trail, I saw a man dressed in👟 running clothes with a Camelbak filled with 💧water or Gatorade and a towel around his neck to dry the sweat- and a lit 🚬cigarette in his hand. He lifted that 🚬cigarette to his mouth and took a long draw on it.

The guy had just been🏃 exercising. His first choice after doing something healthy for his body was to light a 🚬cigarette. He leaned back on the bench- 😊enjoying the moment.

I continued down the trail and wondered about what I just witnessed. It seemed to me that two very different🔽🔼 actions were happening at the same time. It also made me wonder how many times I do the same thing.😬 How many times do I preach one thing and do another? 😬How many times do I have the best intentions and not follow through?

I’m not alone in this, for sure. All of us have many contradictions within our giant personalities. I think what struck me the most about the 🚬smoking runner was that he seemed comfortable with both. He knew enough about running to have all the right gear. The shoes. The water bottle. 🎽The singlet. He knew enough about smoking to carry a 🔥lighter with him.

I’ve been thinking about the 🚬smoking man on the trail and all that he represents. I think he illustrates that we are all works in progress. 💥That we’re all trying. 💥That we all know the places in our lives where we could do better. 💥That we also struggle to actually do those things from time to time.💥

I hang a new optical illusion on the 🚪door to my classroom at the beginning of each week. The kids💖 love to see how quickly they can 👀see all of the parts of the images. Some illusions are easier than others.😳 Some kids want hints if they can’t see it right away. 😶Others want to keep trying on their own to solve the illusions.

Take the classic old woman/young lady illusion. It doesn’t matter who you see first. It doesn’t even matter if you can see both images. They are both there, and they are equally important to the picture. 💥You don’t understand the full illusion unless you acknowledge that both sides are there.👍

Think about how that relates to our own personalities. Aren’t there different 🎭sides in us that some people spot easily while others don’t👀 see them at all? Each beautiful💎 characteristic, every flawed 💎habit, those annoying 💎mannerisms, our lovable 💎quirks- they’re all critical to making us who we are. No reason to hide!!

We’re not perfect, and we shouldn’t claim to be. We’re all a little sugar and spice. A bit of 🔥fire and ❄ice.

I try to find the 🌈silver linings in life but can easily drown in the ☔rains.

It takes a lot to make me 😠angry but- when I do- it’s like my head pops off and spins around. 👹It’s not pretty. 😬Ask my kids.

I hold back any judgments because I feel like it’s not ever my place to judge.😇 Does it still happen sometimes? Unfortunately.😕

Do I say yes more often than I should- and regret it later? That answer- as funny as it sounds- is yes!😬

What I’m saying is that we’re complicated.💯 We’re not static personalities. We’re designed to be dynamic. We’re human- and humans can both 💝beautiful and 💔ugly creatures from time to time.

Who do you see when you 👀look in the mirror? The old woman? The young lady? The 🏃runner or the 🚬smoker? A bit of each?

What if…we practice introspection? 💘What if we accept ourselves, recognize the work we need to do within ourselves, and get busy?💘 We just need to keep learning and growing and changing.💘 Never stop becoming who you hope to be. Nobody’s perfect- and that’s okay.💞

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