Past Motivations, Present Rationalizations

We rationalize our actions. Humans are impulsive creatures, our brains are not the logical thinking machines we often assume. They’re a chemical soup of hormones and tangled wires. A foundational aspect of personal identity is internal control. This isn’t something we learn. It’s an assumption you make when we say you have an identity. When you say “I”.

This urge to have control clashes with the reality of our lives. It creates a major blind spot. We deny our lack of control and claim to have always meant to have done that, or said that. Our vocalizations fun faster than our planing conscious brain. Gut reactions are instinctive feelings.

When we take a strong stance on a topic; be it offended, excited, saddened, etc, we must have a reason. So we rationalize, sometimes it’s a true rationalize, in the sense that it was actually why we did a thing. In those cases it just happens that the origin of the gut reaction matches our conscious beliefs. It may be the ideal situation but it is most certainly not the most common. The thinking mind will make the “best” argument for a given behavior. The more logical or ration a person is, the better they are at rationalizing their own behavior. That does not mean they *are* more rational in what they do. Their behavior is not more rational. In fact, it can allow them to be less rational. They can justify what they do better. The person unable to justify their actions will be forced to change themselves. To confront the consequences of their actions.

This disparity between motivation and rationalizing is how we disappoint one another. We want to be a version of ourselves that we imagine. The ethical person, the witty person, the interesting one, the mysterious one. They’re all ideals we have about who we would *like* to be, not necessarily who we are.

We react in instinctive ways to the world. We rationalize those actions to match the person we imagine we are. Too often our friends and loved ones will “trust” us to be the person we say we are. Not the one we actually are.

There’s so many levels of deception to the human experience. Real honesty is therefore impossible. We lie to ourselves far too often.

It’s why Trust is so important. The real trust. Trusting the core person, the actual person.


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