Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.

[Please note: This is a repost of a post published in April 2014.

I love this old post. I loved it when I wrote it. I remember writing it and feeling very pleased with myself about it.

I don’t often allow myself the luxury of feeling pleased with myself,  or about something I’ve done (there’s a long story behind that ‘quirk’ which I’m not going to relate here and now).

People sometimes get annoyed with me about this quirk.

People: Wow, you’ve done a great job, you should be proud of yourself.

Me: Eh. Meh. *shrugs *looks a bit pained, doubtful…

People: WTF is wrong with you! Feel proud of yourself g’dammit!

Me: I can’t do that right now. It’s just not my thing. Maybe later… *shrugs *looks a bit pained, doubtful…

I get annoyed with people when they aren’t proud of what they’ve done and I think they should be (I would be if I was them… would I though?)… so I totally get it when people are annoyed with me over the same issue, and I do get why they’re being annoying when they’re not being proud of themselves because I know why I’m being annoying about not being proud of myself (I realise our back stories may be different).

I often delay feeling pleased with myself about something I’ve done because too many times in my life that has been a precursor to something going wrong along the lines of pride going before the fall (sometimes that fall is due to someone pushing me – maybe they got pissed off at my doing something well which made them feel bad about themselves so I needed to suffer for their suffering, maybe they wanted to own my thing as theirs and needed to kill me to do that, and other very human effed up tales). The moment I allow myself to feel proud of myself… splat I go. And since going splat hurts, I’m hesitant to do what comes before it. If I just go splat (which I do fairly regularly) it doesn’t hurt as much as feeling great about myself just before going splat.

My reasoning is faulty and needs to be adjusted, but those kinds of adjustments can be technically challenging to make. Upgrading your system can cause all sorts of glitches in other areas of the system which were working fine (fine = it’s working… even if it’s only barely working) until you messed with one bit to ‘improve’ it.

I was going to write a new and fresh 2018 post today. But first I decided to check my blog archive for April 2014 and this old post summed up succinctly what I was going to say in the new post.

I was thinking about the whole concept of practicing what you preach…

In other words

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” ― Epictetus

If you’re doing it there’s no need to talk about it… although sometimes there is.

…and how often people seem to preach/say a whole lot of stuff about themselves while their actions often appear to do the opposite of what they’re saying they do (and this includes them telling you about their actions without you actually witnessing them for yourself, and their stories of what happened not matching up with those other stories they tell you about themselves, about who they are, what they do and their life. Really listening properly to people when they talk… can be very perplexing. They contradict themselves so often. Maybe they never listen to what they say. Maybe it is better when people only listen to reply).

They say they’re peaceful and peace-loving, but they seem to create a hella lot of chaos/strife for themselves and others (yet they seem oblivious to their part in the chaos/strife, blaming it all on everyone else but themselves)… perhaps my definition of peaceful isn’t the same one they’re using (although I’m fairly certain it once was – what changed?!).

They say they’re empathic, but they seem to be unable to understand others, what others are really feeling which would explain why others are the way they are and do what they do… perhaps my definition of empathy isn’t the same one they’re using (there are now several different classifications of empathy – in theory this is supposed to clarify matters but the theory just confuses matters more that it is already confused).



They say they’re…

but they’re not…

and the weird thing is that they’re often the ones telling you who they are and how they’re not who they are at all…

(we all do this to some degree… so be gentle when you catch someone doing it, as that someone could be you)

perhaps we’re all living in alternate realities.

That’s one of my consistent pet peeves – People saying one thing while doing the other thing (the thing they say they don’t, can’t, won’t and wouldn’t do… the thing they hate when others do it, especially when others do it to them, they would never do that to others but they do yet don’t see that they do… blind spot, maybe!? Blind spots are impossible to see even when we truly want to see them!).

One of the things about K-drama which has me hooked is that the ‘villains’ in a show are often shown as thinking that they’re the ‘heroes’ – they’re doing ‘bad’ things which they view as being ‘good’ because they think they’re right and that others are the ones who are wrong or misinformed or delusional/deluded by an illusion, or need saving, etc…. The villains in K-drama are in some ways more human and less staged (even though they’re still very trope-y) than villains in other dramas.

Real life villains… sometimes that’s you, that’s me… not other people. The horror… the horror… no, no, no, nope! We think we’re the hero and that other people are the villains. We think we’re the empathic one while others are the un-empathic ones (and they’re most likely thinking the same thing in vice versa). We think we’re the peace-loving ones and it’s everyone else who is strife-causing (and everyone else thinks the same thing in vice versa).

How do we resolve this?

Eff if I know…

Randomly related article: Embracing the Dark Side by Stephen Palmer

excerpt from that article below:




What other people do… we do too, because… to others we’re other people, and since we’re all human we do human stuff even if we try not to be human and do human stuff.

What would happen if… you could see what was in your blind spot for awhile, a long enough while to take it all in, own it, and be truly mindfully authentic about it (rather than just saying you’re being mindful and authentic because those are ‘IN’ terms and things to be)… would you do things differently? Or just keep doing things as before because of pride, habit, or something like that?

Perhaps doing things differently won’t solve anything… but what if it did, what would you like it to solve and why?]




“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” ― Epictetus


Me: Stay still just for one frigging minute!

Ladybird: Why? I am a being who moves, why else would I have wings and feet.

Me: I want to take a photo of you.

Ladybird: And how exactly does this concern me?

Me: Because you’re my subject.

Ladybird: No, I am an object to you and I object to you and your want.

Me: What do you mean by that!?!

Ladybird: If I were a subject to you, you would study me as I am, moving. You would seek to understand me, and therefore realise that it is in my nature to move. You would be interested in me as a being who is separate from you. A subject is not an object which you want to capture, it is a fluid essence of life, which moves and keeps moving.

Me: I just want you to stop for a minute so I can take a photo of you, that is all!

Ladybird: You humans are a species that wants, and somehow think your wants are the concern of others. Your want is not my concern. If I concern myself with your want, and fulfill it… that is not all,  you will have more.

Me: But you’re so beautiful!

Ladybird: Everything is beautiful, there is nothing special about it, it is just the way it is.

Me: I’m taking this shot anyway, whether you stay still or not!

Ladybird: Now that is beautiful… maybe you’ll understand it some day.

Me: I want to understand it now!

Ladybird: ………………… *flies away


happiness by zen pencils

by zenpencils


  1. You really encapsulated that whole idea. So well done. 🙂 After attempting an explanation, the ladybug just embodies its philosophy.

    I can’t remember if I commented on this one when you first published it but I also don’t remember having read it, so maybe not. However, my memory is not what it used to be either. 😳

    And I’m wondering, are you starting to develop an overarching notion/feeling/sense from your retrospective?


    • Thank you very much 🙂

      You didn’t comment on this post back then, but you did ‘Like’ it. I think that it’s perfectly natural to forget just about everything except what is relevant to the now (but then again I would say that since I’m such an airhead, sometimes I have to squeeze my brain to remember what my name is although to be fair I rarely use it when talking to myself, and it always surprises me when other people use it… I’m like, who the eff is that!?! Oh, yeah that’s my name, duh!!!). Can you imagine what it would be like to have perfect recall of everything we’ve ever learned, seen, done, experienced, etc… there’d be no room to learn anything new especially the older you are, or to look at something old and forgotten as though seeing for the very first time thus getting a new perspective on it, and it would be so extremely noisy in the mind (which it always is even when huge swathes of stuff get forgotten).

      I love your question!!!! I’m not really sure why I’m doing this retrospective. I mean I know the intellectual reasons I’ve given myself for doing it, but intellectual answers are often rather superficial and miss the point entirely. I have this feeling that I’m trying to show myself something, or remind myself of something (haha, good luck with that!). I may have asked the universe something which it is now answering but I’ve forgotten what I asked and therefore don’t realise it’s being answered. I keep getting glimpses of something which feels meaningful, but I can’t quite grasp those flashes. However the other day it did strike me that there was a kind of magic for me to blogging back then which I’ve lost in the now, in fact I lost it quite awhile ago and was aware of it but thought that it was a part of the progression of this particular journey. I would definitely say that I’m trying to show myself something but I’m not sure what it is, and I keep making guesses – those guesses may be what I’m being shown. Not sure… what a non-answer answer that was! 😉

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      • Hahaha! 😀 My memory seems to be leaking out of my ears. Names just drop out, facts too. They go to the same place as washing machine socks. I love the idea of looking at something old and forgotten and getting a new perspective on it. I have experienced that from time to time when rummaging through stored boxes that I’m planning to recycle. 🙂

        I don’t really see your answer as a non-answer, although I think I get why you’re saying that (it’s not definitive so it’s not an answer). I think your answer shows that you’re doing a lot of processing, and maybe the processing is what you’re supposed to learn – something along the lines of how it’s the journey … Your voice is definitely different from what it used to be. And it really seems to me that your thinking-writing has been good for you. You’ll probably figure it out – those flashes will likely sort themselves. In my case, I have to go through a period of letting my brain do that. If I push, it will be a fight. 🙂

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