Really know yourself – see with extreme clarity all sides of you: the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the great, the awful – in other words, the precious human being that you are. The clarity I am speaking of is the clarity of the truth – those inner, often hidden, workings of your mind, your motives – not the you that you try so hard to portray to the world.
How well do you know yourself?
And why am I asking this?
It took many decades for me to understand that the more of me that I could be with, that I could see, own and accept, the more open, compassionate and accepting I could be of others. And, the more I insisted on “perfection” in myself, the more intolerant I was of your humanity.
I think this is true for many – perhaps for you.
But please don’t take my word, explore this for yourself. Use these questions to get you started:
- What am I unwilling to face in myself, the habits, behaviors, thoughts? What am I always trying to “improve” in myself? What about me do I hide from even my closest friends?
- What is it that I am unwilling to tolerate or accept in others? What do I routinely judge in others?
Look closely at your answers. How many of your answers to question #2 also showed up as responses to question #1?
As a way of moving toward greater acceptance of self and others, try these two practices for awhile:
- Share some of those secrets you discovered above with a trusted friend. Practice full disclosure.
- When you hear yourself judging another or asking them to change – STOP. Look in the mirror. Courageously make the parallel change in yourself.
For some of you, these may be VERY difficult! Try being gentle but firm as you act counter to some very old habits of self-protection and identity.
Who will you be if you drop your defenses and choose real?
How willing are you to discover YOU?