Introspection is something that I think I do reasonably well. It’s not usually fun. And I don’t mean to paint a self loathing picture. I love who I am. I don’t necessarily want to be different than I am. But it’s like there are breaks inside all of us that cause us to be bent certain ways. Those things make us who we are. But those things can bring out good and ugly. I think some of my strongest attributes are also my biggest flaws.
It’s interesting how a fundamental fear of rejection, based on past experiences, can make a person both indifferent to what people think and at the same time, completely terrified of being alone. So will I choose to strive to please or will I choose to not care at all? Both of those responses aren’t healthy. I know my tendencies toward both extremes. And I know why. But knowing why doesn’t always keep my responses healthy.
Unexpected changes and upheaval early in life helped me learn to roll with change. That can be a really good thing. But my ability to roll with change goes beyond that. I desire it. I want change. Always. I feel stuck and trapped when there’s too much sameness. And so living in the same town for my entire life makes me feel uncomfortable and stuck sometimes. But I also know that no matter how many changes occur, once the high of the change is over, I’m ready for more change. I know this. And I know why. But again, knowing why doesn’t always keep my responses healthy. That’s why I paint and redo rooms in my house a lot. It helps me feel less restless. It’s also kind of expensive.
I have pretty good discernment. At least I think I do. I have a very good “creep” radar. But I also have trust issues. Those things come from the same place. And so will I choose to trust people when I know they might hurt me? Love with reckless abandon as I want to be loved? Or will I push them away before they can hurt me? Will I choose to look for good in people or will I immediately see the bad?
We all carry stuff inside us that makes us messy. I’m no more messy than you. You’re no more messy than me. These things make relationships with people so hard. I often feel like I can’t deal with my own mess, let alone anyone else’s mess. And they feel the same way.
I think the only way to really get along in this world is to take a good, long look at who we are as individuals and think about why we are that way. And not necessarily so that we can try to fix it. I really can’t fix the issues that I have. I can’t. I’ve tried. And I really don’t think enough therapy would fix them either. But I can be aware of my tendencies toward destruction and good, based on the breaks that I know that I have. And I can hourly try to choose the response that I know is healthier. I can regularly evaluate why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling or doing the things that I’m doing. This helps me place more reason to my actions and think through a good response and a bad response. I can also ask, and accept, constructive criticism.
It’s all hard stuff. But if I can’t try to know myself and know why I’m the ways that I am, how can I expect anybody else to know me either? And if I really think about what one my greatest fears in life is, it’s to not be fully known. It’s to leave this world with nobody really truly knowing who I am. What a tragedy. What a loss that would be. And not because I’m so super amazing. That’s not it. It’s simply because I’m uniquely created.
We are all created to be fully known. To live in truth, without masks. We can’t live in truth if we don’t even know ourselves.