Lesson #2: Becoming Self-Aware
I’m letting Google do some work here first before I jump right in. Love me some Google.
Self-Aware: Having conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings.
Self-Awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands his/her own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
And if you need or want additional definitions, feel free to go get your Google on. Who doesn’t love a good Google sesh?
For me, I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I knew. You feel? It’s not easy to look inward and dissect every little thing about yourself. Unfortunately, when this process began for me, I was not in a good headspace – my self-awareness and introspection began as a result of other people’s opinions of me. It began with one person taking every ounce of my good and turning it into something negative. And then using it against me. It broke me down and damaged any bit of love I had for myself, along with any shred of self-confidence I had.
From there, I began wondering to myself…am I really that bad? Am I not a good person like I thought I was? Am I really all these things this person tells me I am? Answers…NO, NO, and NO. But it took me a long time to acknowledge and accept my own answers, because I let the opinions of others 100% overpower my own view of myself.
So, after this person comes another person – only this time it’s worse and it goes on and on and on. In actuality, I allowed it to. But I was so broken and confused…I just kept on internalizing it all and believing it. And let me tell you, it can and did take me to some very dark places within myself.
Be careful what you tolerate. You are teaching people how to treat you.
Pause for a moment and re-read that quote. I’ve never read and experienced anything truer in my life. Respect yourself, love yourself, and take no BS from anyone.
Okay, so with the second person I mentioned – I absolutely became someone I didn’t know and didn’t like. This person took me entirely out of my character, to the point that I just didn’t even recognize myself. I had been so convinced that I was a terrible person, that I started to believe it. Don’t get me wrong, I still had every ounce of my good – it didn’t and hasn’t gone anywhere. But, with this person, when triggered, I became someone that wasn’t me. I was constantly fighting back, constantly trying to prove my good, my worth, and the fact that I was lovable. Okay – let me quote you out for a second.
The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away. -Alysia Harris
If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value.
Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.
I stopped explaining myself when I realized other people only understand from their level of perception.
I can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to see in me.
Boom! ALL the lessons learned.
Let me be honest, it absolutely took me walking away time and time again – until the last time was the final time. I took me a long time to pick myself back up, to build myself back up, to recognize all that I knew and know myself to be. I had to let go of this outside opinion and begin looking inward to find who I was, to accept myself, to love myself.
It was a long road, and sure, sometimes I still stumble. But I know myself through and through, and today…there isn’t a single person that can or will shake my belief in myself. I am still my own worst critic, but I prefer to be my own critic than to allow someone else to lie to me about who I am. Who they think I am. Who I am has nothing to do with anyone else.
These experiences forced me to wake up, to be present, to become self-aware. It is often through tough experiences that we learn the most valuable lessons. But don’t get hung up on that – remember to take the good and leave the rest. Just keep the lessons…the rest no longer matters. Learn from what you experience, because I promise that nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. Be present, be aware.
I can finally say with confidence that I know who I am. I know my good – my loving heart of gold, my kindness, my acceptance of others, my love for others, my ability to help others, my listening skills, my calm demeanor, my welcoming spirit. I was told for a while that my kindness was my weakness, but that was SO wrong. Today I know, without a doubt, that my kindness is my strength. Because…
It takes strength to be kind and gentle.
Introspection is my go-to when I am feeling happy, when I am feeling down, and every other time in between. Looking deep within and dissecting who I know myself to be separate from how others perceive me is the most freeing thing. I know myself inside and out, through and through. It for sure didn’t happen overnight and it took all of this here and more, but I am more self-aware than I’ve ever been. And, I know it just keeps getting better from here.
Lesson for you my friends, become self-aware – know yourself so well that not a single person is able to shake you. Know what you deserve and demand respect by your presence. Don’t let ANYONE walk on you, degrade you, or turn your good against you. Always remember that the ground you stand on is solid. And anyone who cannot respect you for who you are, does not deserve to be in your life. Learn to love yourself first – the rest will follow. Also, you know exactly who you are. So please, do not let anyone tell you lies about yourself.
Despite everything, or maybe because of everything, I still pray for this person every day. And with that, I’ll leave you this song.