I used to judge a person by their tendency to contradict themselves, the more they seemed so, the more I would challenge the validity of what they said. Then, quite recently, I noticed that the more authentic I allowed myself to be with people, the more I have the tendency to appear to contradict myself from one moment to the next. I noticed that in one moment I can be quiet and serious in a conversation and in the next, I become light-hearted and laughing in the exact same conversation. To some, I would appear cold and shallow if I were to behave that way, changing my demeanor from one moment to the next, and in some contexts, I might even be seen as psychotic or at least mildly schizophrenic.
So what I have now discovered that I have made up about consistency is that for me to remain in the eyes of another with the appearance of being consistent, I must appear to be true to my character, a man of integrity, as some would call it, and that means I must behave in accordance with the projected way of being that another will cast on me. I must appear to be consistent to a standard of behavior if I expect anyone to take me seriously.
So what has this cost me in terms of my aliveness, that is my wholeness and my integrity, by striving to be consistent with the way I show up for others?
The answer to that is simple. I have sold out everything that makes me an authentic, whole person with integrity just to appear consistent and, in some people's eyes, a person worthy of knowing. In doing so, I get the booby prize, I get to appear to be a man of integrity. The problem with appearing to be a man of integrity instead of simply being a man of integrity, is that to remain so in the eyes of another, I must appear to live up to their standards of what integrity means, and that means that I must surrender one more thing that makes me whole, my autonomy. And when I surrender that, I am no longer free to be who I am and who I am not, I am no longer free to be whole.
The very best use of life
...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!