When I was younger, I used to read a lot of motivational posts and short writings, many of which would urge one to find him or herself and know what they want. Other times I would watch older people having conversations about their personalities and what they like and dislike and not in terms of hobbies or interests but in relation to human interaction. But I almost had no clue how one could talk about something like that, I was not the kind of person who would know exactly why they were discontented by a certain action or maybe why a word said by someone hurt them, I knew how it felt but I never knew why.
As I grew older, I started encountering observations by those around me. “You’re a sensitive person,” was on top of the list and it frustrated me. Yet, I never knew the reason behind the frustration, was it because I didn’t like that I was sensitive or is it because I did not think I was. Until I figured out that it is neither this nor that, it is the fact that I do not know for a fact that I am sensitive and if I am I do not know why. Until I came to realize that I was lacking self-knowledge. I knew nothing about myself, the triggers to my emotions or the kind of person I truly was. For long, I settled for embracing the image that was delivered to me by those around me.
Until I found myself on the road to self-awareness, with no intentions whatsoever to be there, I just found myself there – mere coincidence I guess or a bestowed blessing. And for the big part, I can thank my anxiety because of the frustration I had when I was diagnosed got me extremely eager to know more about it and why it hit me. Therapy, reading, talking and writing got me to not only empty my mind from the thoughts I never shared but also allowed me to make connections between the person I am now and the memories of the past. It allowed me to make intertwined circuits of correlations between my experiences and current reactions.
Therapy could not be one’s only way towards self-awareness but it was mine. Because in the two times I decided to visit a therapist once I wanted to meet with anxiety and the other was to meet with me. This second time I was less interested to listen to what my therapist had to say and more interested to know what I had to say and was never conscious of. I wanted to know why at that moment of my life I carried so much fear, pain, and anger as a reaction to an event that probably every single person on the face of this planet goes through. And I would never belittle anyone’s experience but I knew that what I felt was an over exaggeration to the experience – a disproportional reaction.
Today, I can never say I am completely self-aware of every single action, emotion, and reaction but I can strongly claim that I am not the same young girl who had no clue about why she feels the way she does. And there are three main things I came to learn as I knew more about myself.
- When you know more about yourself you learn to stop blaming yourself for everything that happens in the world around you! You’re not the center of the world but you’re highly impacted by all what you witness and all what you experience. You would be surprised of how much a memory you had when you’re an infant impacts the person came to be, thus you’re not all to blame after all!
- What you know about yourself does not only help you with figuring out the past but improves your future. If you perhaps learn that you’re an over attached person – like me – and get to understand where this comes from, you, later on, have a higher awareness of how to control that and build healthier bonds with the people around you.
- We are not made to be reactions to whatever goes around us. We are doers, creators and most importantly alive and if you decide not to work towards self-awareness in many cases you’ll have to be just a reaction to everything that goes around you and everyone you meet. And you owe it to yourself to be better than that.
I am no psychologist or expert but I am one who was lost and is constantly trying to find the way and if sharing an experience could help one find even the initial steps towards their way I would do it every day. Whatever your way may be: religion, creativity, therapy, writing or even just meditating all by yourself find it because it would make every single day that comes after that illuminated.