Virtue is defined as "behavior showing high moral standards."
This in and of itself is a great thing.
But we live in a place where virtue means little. Not because virtue isn't something to be admired but it's because we have no idea why we created our virtue in the first place.
Hypocrites abound. From religious fanatic terrorists to female slut shaming to eating kale because everyone and their mother says if you don't eat it then you're going to nutrition hell.
Virtue without experience means little.
I went through a time where I had a very strict set of rules for myself and super high moral standards. I would never dare to kiss a boy whose taken. I would never dare to eat fast food.
Those things are "good" things, but I had little understanding and no true engraving in my body, mind and soul as to why I followed those morals, other than what I heard from "them" or "they" and my desperate desire to be "holier than thou".
Virtue without experience is weak.
Can you relate?
And then I went through a time where I had enough of being "good" and "moralistic".
I realized I had no idea why I held myself to these so called virtues.
So I ate the fast food. I became the other girl.
And I unraveled myself. I felt like shit. I felt powerful. I felt like I was stripping away the layers to get down to my soul. Bare and surrendered. Human.
What I learned from breaking all the rules, hurting people (not maliciously- no one was killed in the making of this email) and eating a McDonalds cheeseburger was that my virtue had NO concrete strength until I lived life on the other side.
Maybe not everyone is like this, but I bet most can see where I am coming from.
It is through breaking all the rules that we truly discover why we wanted to follow them to begin with. Otherwise you are just playing "follow the leader."
After being hurt by others and not hurting any one else, I found that when I became mean and selfish after a while it felt icky and painful for me. And now I know exactly how to mind my words and actions.
After not eating fast food for years, I took the bite and felt the thrill. And I found that it's just not as good as you expect it to be. Ever. And now I know it's simply not worth it for my body to go through that....well maybe sometimes ; )
Through breaking the rules, you find your TRUE VIRTUES.
What's a True Virtue?
The virtues that you have been on the other side of and came out with a deeper understanding of.
When you stand in your virtue with true conviction. When you OWN your virtue with every fiber of your being.
So go ahead, eat the cookie when you're emotional. But, be aware of it. Take notes. See why you've told yourself to "not have the cookie when I'm upset." FIND OUT WHY YOU WANT THAT VIRTUE. Or why you don't.
Here's an exercise for you:
1. Write down 3 virtues you hold.
2. Write down the reasons you think you hold them.
3. Write down one way in which you can test the strength of this virtue for your life.
Now please don't go killing or harming anyone for the sake of this experiment. That's just stupid.
It is probably best to start by identifying some small virtues you hold but don't know why.
But also don't shy away from the "dark side" . You can't truly know the light unless you know the dark.
Virtue is going through hell and back and coming out a stronger, lighter version of you. At least in my book.
So I'm not expecting this email to go over well, in fact I'm a little nervous to press send cause I'm sure I missed some key part in explaining myself.
But oh well, gotta break the rules sometimes ; P