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What is a Good Life? #40
Congruence With Yourself with Ladybird Morgan
On the 40th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast, I am delighted to welcome Ladybird Morgan as our guest. Ladybird is a Palliative Care Consultant at MettleHealth and a Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member at Humane Prison Hospice Project. With over 20 years of experience as a registered nurse, clinical social worker, and educator, Ladybird brings a wealth of wisdom and insight to this conversation.
In this episode, we delve into the concepts of personal evolution and growth, explore the broader perspective beyond immediate pain, as well as embracing our interconnectedness and shared humanity. We consistently touch on the theme of personal congruence, discussing the importance of integrity and continuous self-reflection and inquiry.
Ladybird also shares her insights on keeping our hearts open in moments of hurt or pain (see clip below), and finding peace in embracing life's uncertainties.
If you find yourself struggling to align with or connect with who you are, this episode offers plenty to contemplate. Ladybird is a rare individual in her commitment to walking her talk, and her unwavering accountability serves as significant inspiration for fostering greater personal congruence and authenticity in your own life.
The weekly clip from the podcast (2 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (53 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
In a world where authenticity is all the rage, with people and companies eager to tell us just how authentic they are, I really enjoyed Ladybird’s perspectives on being congruent with herself in this interview.
The sense of integrity between her words and actions, along with her challenging and continual self-investigation into this alignment or harmony, was a breath of fresh air to listen to.
While traveling around India, a reporter once asked Gandhi about his message for the people. With little time as his train was departing the station, Gandhi simply wrote down one sentence, “let your life be your message.”
Whenever I find myself repeating the same message about myself, whatever it may be, it raises a suspicion of mine that all may not be congruent with my inner and outer worlds or between my words and my actions. It suggests to me that I don’t trust or truly believe that my actions are conveying the message; otherwise, why would I deem it necessary to repeat what my actions are apparently saying?
Think about it—if you repeatedly went around helping people, would you feel the need to accompany each act with the words, “oh, by the way, I am a kind person”? Without being too cynical, if authenticity is your thing, surely one look at the society around us would be enough to know that if you were genuinely being authentic, it would stand out like the sorest of sore thumbs.
Worse still, we can end up deluding ourselves that we are something we are not. I like to think of myself as more straight talking and transparent than what I tend to see in the wider society. But I also gauge that honesty at times by my willingness to admit to others when I have been dishonest, or even in lieu of that, honest with myself about it. I can be something most of the time, but I am rarely that absolutely.
I find our eagerness these days to communicate our messages about ourselves with words rather than actions or a sense of being often leads us down a path of betraying the very words we use about ourselves (e.g., continually claiming to be humble). Saying it often enough not only reinforces the narrative in our heads but can also hide parts of ourselves from us and reduce our capacity to view it as an area for potential investigation.
A friend of mine once called me “relentlessly self-interrogating,” which was meant as a compliment, I think…but I don’t believe we challenge what we state about ourselves nearly often enough. It is not to be self-critical or be taken as criticism, but so I don’t get too attached to an identity of my self that is, in reality, always fluctuating.
I believe a persistent willingness to investigate and challenge my own beliefs, narratives, or values, to see what remains, not only makes me aware of the consistent ebbs and flows within myself but also within the world around me, making the experience and uncertainty of life much more bearable.
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3. Full Episode - Congruence With Yourself with Ladybird Morgan - What is a Good Life? #40
4. This week’s Questions
Have you recently been stating something about yourself repeatedly, which might not be as absolutely true as you think?
In what scenarios or with whom do you feel most congruent with yourself and when do you feel it the least?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed over 150 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.