Today, I saw this posted on a friend’s timeline on Facebook:
I was told today that I can only know myself through someone else, I guess I’ll never know who the F$#?k I am.
He followed it up with this:
a psychologist told me that we only know ourselves through other people so, for example. The reactions I get from others from my actions defines who I am. When I look into the mirror, I’m not seeing me. I’m looking at a backwards image of me. It’s not how you see me.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you who you are, or why you are HOW you are. You already know, despite your long journey down that Egyptian river.
Others will judge us. We may be judged based on our tattoos, piercings, clothing, accent, color of our skin, weight, religion, country of origin, or hair color. There is nothing we can do to prevent that. They don’t know us. Their opinions do not matter in the grand scheme of things.
If I have had a long struggle in life, or a trauma, or have been abused, or have a chronic illness, chances are, that what I feel about myself is not glaringly obvious to the world. More than likely, I put a mask on in public to some extent. Therefore, the world’s view of me is skewed. Ask anyone with a chronic illness who is told “But you don’t look sick.”
One problem with the mask, is that sometimes we forget to take it off. We allow ourselves to become that person, all of the time, without getting to the root cause of our need to play dress-up. It may be that the persona we project, is what we wish we were, or, more likely, who other’s want us to be. Another problem with the mask, is that it’s only a mask. The real us can make random appearances, or take over completely causing sudden confusion, or fear in others.
Don’t wear masks. Life is not a Broadway play.
If we want to get down to the accepted psychological jargon, let me introduce you to “Defense Mechanisms”
Using defense mechanisms is normal. Maybe not acceptable, or necessary according to some, but we all use them. Even your shrink does.
Excuse me while I stuff my passive aggressiveness back into it’s box. LOL
I am a firm believer, that until we learn to live with ourselves, and love ourselves the way we are, we can not heal. We cannot do it for others, or expect others to do it for us.
Now, I’m not one for inspirational stuff, or giving myself over to a higher power. I believe that the power is already within me, and that I am responsible for using it wisely. I have not always used it wisely, however, and I think most of us have had moments (or years) like that.
Here are the questions that I often ask myself:
- Why am I angry/hurt/sad/confused?
- Should I be?
- Can I do anything about it right now?
- Will it matter tomorrow?
- Am I over reacting to external/internal stimulus?
- Am I projecting a demeanor that is effecting how other’s interact with me?
Why am I angry? – Because my ride was late. (Frustration)
Should I be? – Justified frustration, but am I over reacting leading me to become angry? (Probably, but now ask yourself why. Again.)
Sometimes we are moody for no reason that we can instantly determine. Sometimes I get really moody, or wake up moody, without being able to pinpoint why. Did I have a bad dream? Are the planets misaligned? Am I over tired? In pain?
Can I do anything about it right now? Perhaps, but if the ride comes, and you get to your destination on time, you’re all set. Let it go.
Will it matter tomorrow? No.
Things happen. You stub your toe. Your train is late, you forgot your wallet. These things can cause us to flip out, or we can learn how to manage our emotions. Putting on a happy face, and stuffing it, will only result in disaster later on. Probably as a result of something minor. Trust me, you flipping out because someone took your parking spot will effect how other’s see you. However, it does not mean that is who you are.
We all have our own ways of handling stress. What works for me, will not necessarily work for you. I’m not a Psychologist. Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it… *wink*
Everything about you is you. Nature, and Nurture (or lack thereof) has shaped you into who you are. Don’t like yourself? Take a minute to ask yourself why.
Are you under the assumption that everyone you know see’s you as you were 10 years ago? Do you see yourself like that? You cannot live in the past. You cannot revisit your mistakes, and hold onto all of the “what ifs”. Move on, continue your journey. Learn about yourself. Understand yourself.
I have looked into the depths of myself. I don’t necessarily like everything I see, but the things I can change, I try to. Honesty, especially with one’s self is key.
Personally, I know that I like peace and quiet. I know that I am selfish with my life…meaning, that I will give you the shirt off of my back, but I don’t want to be “besties”. (You’re infringing on my me time.) I’m opinionated, sarcastic, and blunt. I also have a tendency to be cynical. There have been many people in my life that I could hang out with for short periods of time, but I can’t say that there have been no more than 3 or 4 that I could live with, especially now. Now it’s more like zero.
It’s ok to be you. It’s ok to be different, and feel differently. There is no “normal”. The more we try to fight our own nature to fit in, or to conform to someone else’s idea of how/who we should be, the more damaged we become. Don’t let that happen.
You are the Captain of your own ship. Sail it.
As I wrote this post, one song came to mind:
I love Billy Joel.
Have a great day, and don’t let other’s define you. -J