Based in Los Angeles, Jeff is a self-wellness writer and editor. His content focuses on mental and spiritual health that draws from his education in psychology and theology. He’s a lifelong martial artist and practices Japanese and Hawaiian healing arts.

I Want to Be MORE.

This will not be a commentary on morality; I won't go on about what's right for such and such or what's wrong for such and such. I'm no ethicist, but I'd like to think that most of us have a informed conscience that tells us when something is right or wrong. As to whether we act on those notions is another 'moral/ethical' conversation I'm not trying to have. However, I want to pose a similar yet different question that's directed at the individual who's confronted with what could be a wise or unwise decision:


Will this make me MORE or make me LESS?

Will what I'm about to do make me more of who I am, be a truthful representation of who I currently am, or speak to the kind of person I want to be? Or, will it simply make me less of who I am? By "Less" I mean any action or word that isn't the whole truth, an indirect look into the source. You're either a lamp whose light is bright and vibrant, or you're a lamp who wears a lampshade. You're comfortable (and dare I say complacent) with obscuring the real, authentic source.

C.S. Lewis illustrated a similar point on the matter. And although the application of his idea was slightly different, I feel it still relates. He pointed out that there is a sound difference between looking along something rather than looking directly at it. Truth be told he was in his garden tool shed on what I'd imagine to be a sunny afternoon when he had this idea. He stepped in and the door closed behind him; but it only slightly closed. It was left ajar. As he turned to exit he noticed the outside light, a sunbeam likely reflected by particles and dust, slicing into the shed. I'll let him finish:

"I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it...Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no tool shed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences."

We almost want people to look along us instead of directly at us. If we let them look directly at us, we fear what they'll think. We default to offer a certain perception of ourselves instead of the real un-obscured self. I suggest that this is why we make "things that make us Less" choices instead of making "things that make us More" choices. In truth it's easier to tell a half-truth, to have that extra drink, that extra slice, and to avoid that person you need to talk to. I'm not suggesting that just because it's easier, that it's bad. If you've genuinely fallen in love, that's often described as "easy". And it was likely easy because not much was said; there was a true connection that made both parties feel like they were more.

When you decide to be MORE, you then yield to the possibility of growth. Growth in your awareness, both for yourself and the world around you. And aside from being More for yourself, wouldn't you desire to be More (and not Less) for others in your life? Let me be clear: More isn't synonymous with being perfect. Being MORE is a road, not a destination, so cut yourself a break if you make a "Less" decision. But walk the More road, and don't concern yourself with the end.

That'll work itself out.

"What I'm Not"

Shake Out the Demons in Your Head