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Know Thyself

There are moments where I think “I know myself.” I can’t exactly pinpoint what those moments are, but they exist. I feel comfortable in my own skin. I know what I’m talking about and I am saying what I mean. It’s a great feeling to know who you are, to know who I am. Then there are moments where my anxiety takes over. I begin to question everything about myself and I do mean everything. What I’m thinking, how I am feeling, what I say to people, how I act, and even these words that I’m typing. It’s difficult to live like this. It’s hard to continually misunderstand who I am. And then I think, this lack of understanding about who I am is actually part of who I am. I am cerebral, I do overthink things and that’s a part of me. So maybe I do know myself more than I thought that I did.

We try to know ourselves for many reasons. Part of it is about being content in life. If you know yourself, understand who you are, you’re better able to cope with the challenges that life throws at you. When you have a sense of self, you’re capable of managing conflicts better because you have a sense of what you feel and can stand your ground. Whereas, if you’re unsure of who you are, you might cower in the face of a conflict. You might (as I’ve done in the past) second guess yourself and assume that the other person has a better point than you do or even that they have more of a right to their feelings than you do.

That’s not the case.

Whether you know yourself or not, you are still entitled to your opinion. I’ve come to believe that knowing yourself takes time. We can spend our entire lives getting to know who we are. Who we are is not fixed. As human beings that “self” changes over time, especially if you’re making a concerted effort to work on yourself.

I find that if something about myself frustrates me, that’s what I need to lean towards. That quality is what I want to examine more closely so that I can work with it as opposed to resenting it. I find this challenging though. I’m not going to sit here and pretend it’s easy to look at my flaws because it’s certainly not. But if we don’t continually work on ourselves we will get stuck in patterns that we don’t like.

Here’s another part of this: once you know yourself, can you learn to love yourself? I believe the answer is yes. However, you can love yourself and also find yourself annoying. I get annoyed with me all the time. I don’t think I’d want to date me for example. I would irritate myself too much. I’m not saying I┬ádislike myself, what I’m saying is that I want to be with someone who is complementary to me, someone I can learn from.

So what about you? Do you know yourself?