Be All Your Selves – Joss Whedon’s fantastic 2013 Wesleyan Commencement Address on embracing our inner contradictions.
Thanks Joss Whedon. Your words are saving and making my life, all over again.
To read this tonight is such perfect timing. I’ve been beating myself up for the last week - although a timely and overdue beating - which has left me exhausted and vulnerable. But something started to click for me this evening while I was at training. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I am on the verge of a breakthrough, so close to overcoming the despondent and detached mood I’ve been in for the best part of two months. It’s got a lot to do with emotionally connecting to and comprehending this:
You have, which is a rare thing, that ability and the responsibility to listen to the dissent in yourself, to at least give it the floor, because it is the key — not only to consciousness, but to real growth. To accept duality is to earn identity. And identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is not just who you are. It is a process that you must be active in.
- Joss Whedon
Tonight, I am making an effort to use the expansive powers of my brain for clearer and kinder self-reflection. In my ruminations, I have made the unpleasant discovery that the characteristics I am most proud to possess - independence, persistence, confidence - are the same characteristics that stop me from truly living life the way my heart and mind intends.
I am kinder to myself tonight because I am “accepting my duality” by taking full responsibility for these weaknesses. But I am also putting my hand up to move forward from here, to be a better friend, to set aside my own pride when the time is right, so that I am able to do the things that have always been hard for me to do: live the full truth of how I feel about the people most important to me.