By in Animals

Stop Acting and Start Being

Author's Note: My heartfelt thanks goes out to Squidwhisperer and "No One Knows" for the inspiration for this piece. I will be eternally grateful.

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Nice is highly over-rated. Nice is vastly under-appreciated. Doled out by others, nice is a "should." A way for one to act.

"Good girls don't act like you. You should act better. Act like a lady. Act nice."

I am damned tired of acting.

At some point in my life, I started being. Being true to myself. Being genuine. Being who I am. Being the loud, irreverent, sassy, feisty, pain-in-the-butt person that seems to make people uncomfortable.

How can I be anyone different?

The trouble is that most people don't know how to be . They really don't know how to act either.

If you don't believe me, tell someone that you have cancer. Then make jokes about life and death. That really screws them up. They really won't know what they "should" do. They try to be nice, but they run from what does not feel nice.

Being genuine also comes with its share of problems. If I am to be all I know how to be, directness is often seen as unkind, and here comes that "act better" once again.

I think that being kind means loving people, sometimes, it in spite of their actions. When I say the "tough stuff" of life and death, I am being kind. Kind enough to tell them the truth. Kind enough to understand that things are not always easy.

I have stopped acting and started to be kind enough to love people anyway, even when they run away.

© 2015, Coral Levang All rights reserved

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LadyDuck wrote on February 22, 2015, 4:55 AM

This is the right attitude, you have to be kind to people. I know that it's not always easy, but it pays in the long run.

MegL wrote on February 22, 2015, 4:59 AM

Very true, being nice CAN be acting, though I also like the saying, "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything". After all, some things, people cannot change, it's not possible. In that case I say nothing and am still true to me.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 22, 2015, 6:30 AM

My twin ran away from me when my husband died of cancer, simply because she didn´t know how to be with it, or rather my grief following his death. I´m glad to say she´s now back in my life, but I could have done with it earlier.

Ellis wrote on February 22, 2015, 7:33 AM

Good girls on't act like that....but where's the fun in that?

CoralLevang wrote on February 22, 2015, 7:38 AM

Ellis Along with fun, the guilt and same that went along with that was unbearable. It became craziness, at its finest.

CoralLevang wrote on February 22, 2015, 7:51 AM

LadyDuck I understand what you are saying, but, when dealing with others and rhetorically speaking, is it ever wise to tell others what is right or what others have to do? I know that I also sometimes think very legalistically (either/or, black/white, good/bad, should/should not) and express myself similarly. I appreciate that when things are not easy, and we choose kindness, it better serves us in the long run; when we do not, the stress we heap on ourselves is not worth the pain/result.

CoralLevang wrote on February 22, 2015, 7:57 AM

MegL Which is why I make the distinction between being kind and acting nice. I do not think that being kind is ever acting. As one who is vocal, I was often told this saying, but translated it meant something quite different: "If you disagree with me, have an opinion, think differently than what I think you should be thinking, etc., then keep your damned mouth shut." So many people acquiesce, rather than speak their truth. Should there not be a time for everyone to speak?

CoralLevang wrote on February 22, 2015, 8:13 AM

Hollyhocks100 Oh, how I understand this situation. I know how difficult it is to "be in the moment" sometimes. We think we have to say something, act a certain way, and we feel powerless to do anything. That helplessness is a mirror into our own humanness...our own mortality. I recognize those situations where I have (for a time) abandoned others. I have also been/felt abandoned by others. It is also a helpless, painful situation, either way. I am grateful to those who have forgiven me when I have done it, and am thankful that I have learned to ask forgiveness. I also recognize that not all are able to get past their own hurts, and that relationships change. It is the situations that never get resolved that pain me the most. I, too, am glad that your sister and you are back in contact. *hugs* I also understand "could have done with it earlier." My father passed away 3 1/2 weeks ago. It took him 45 years before he called me to tell me that he loved me. All those years in-between...I, too, could have done with it early.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My heart goes out to you. None of us is very different in that we face battles in this life. Again, thank you.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 22, 2015, 8:19 AM

We are very different people, although twins. At first she tried to act like nothing had happened out of the ordinary, that was like kicking me in the teeth, when I exploded over this we lost contact for a long long time. I still feel badly about it, but also feel I was entitled to say what I did. I´m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father, my heart goes out to you too. Sometimes people just expect we know they love us, but sometimes we really need those 3 little words.

MegL wrote on February 22, 2015, 8:32 AM

Yes, of course. My father always encouraged us to have their own opinions.

CoralLevang wrote on February 22, 2015, 8:45 AM

How many times we do not say what we need to say for fear of losing. Either way, there is pain. It is good that we feel strong enough to say what we must, but is certainly rife with emotion that we think may be unbearable. We cannot go back, but only move forward. Thank you for your kind words. My father and I were pretty much estranged for the majority of that 45 years, aside from my phone calls twice a year, most of which went unanswered. In 45 years he called me twice...the first time in June 2012, while I was in the hospital after my diagnosis. The second time, on January 5th. He passed on the 26th, three weeks later.

CoralLevang wrote on February 22, 2015, 8:49 AM

A wise man, indeed! emoticon :smile:

scheng1 wrote on February 22, 2015, 9:11 AM

I cannot understand their attitude towards life and death too. Death is a certainty, and life is always full of problems. So why deny?

CoralLevang wrote on February 22, 2015, 9:18 AM

scheng1 I am not sure where you are, but I think that attitudes toward life and death often are determined by culture.

BarbRad wrote on February 23, 2015, 2:37 AM

I think when we are younger we aren't ourselves because we haven't found ourselves. We try out different selves. As we mature we start finding out who we are and can begin to be ourselves. Hopefully we will have learned kindness as part of who we are.

CoralLevang wrote on February 23, 2015, 3:22 AM

And some of us know who we are as we mature, but we still fear being ourselves around those who (we think) are the ones who matter. Kindness is key.

crowntower wrote on February 23, 2015, 7:51 AM

true! and actually I think we should really rediscover who we really is, so acting or being ... will come to ceased, when we really know who we really are the truth inside us. It is not the feeling, but it is exactly who we are.

CoralLevang wrote on February 24, 2015, 11:38 PM

I can't remember who it was that said it, but "Integrity is when we do the right thing, even when no one is watching." I think that speaks to being true to self and know who we really are. I agree with you.