Should I Save My Face, Or Save My A–?

Good morning, everyone, and happy Saturday to you!

The other day a friend I was talking with asked himself this most excellent question:

“Would I rather save my face or save my ass?”

Haha! Isn’t that great? I chuckled about that all the rest of the day.

What he is referring to, of course, is our tendency, us conditioned people, to prioritize looking good in the eyes of others above all other things–even above our own freedom. Being cool, for many, it appears–or successful, or smart, or cute, or a host of other things–is the most important thing in the world. Not a good approach to life, obviously.

If a person is going to be free to live from their authentic nature, then they are going to have to find the willingness to set aside the maintenance of a false public persona, which we tend to parade not just in front of other people, but in front of ourselves, and admit to everyone, including themselves, what’s really going on. It is necessary to acknowledge that we don’t know who we really are, or what we truly need. It’s conducive to happiness to confess to others and to ourselves all the ways in which we have been unskillful, hurtful, and blind; all the ways in which we can become confused, in which we can become identified with a selfish and self-centered ego; all the ways that we have sabotaged our prospects for real happiness in order to be an unhappy self instead, and every other miserable thing. If we cannot acknowledge these things at least to ourselves, and also to others when appropriate, then we will not be free of these things, and we will continue to posture before ourselves and others instead of saving ourselves in the way that we need to do.

I’m not saying that we need to judge ourselves, or that we need to beat ourselves up for what we see. This sort of thing completely misses the point, and is profoundly unhelpful. We do need to see what is actually so, however. As we so often say, “With awareness comes choice.” If there is no awareness, no acknowledgment–worse, if we are hiding the truth from ourselves and others–then there will be no choice.

Be well, good people, take care, and have a beautiful day!

In peace,