You know when you know yourself, but you don’t, you know… know-know yourself?
No, you probably don’t, because it takes an awful lot of introspection to face the shittier/non-accepting parts of yourself; or even worse, actually face the idea that you can change them.
It’s only recently that I have come to realise that my bar for self-esteem when I was a teenager to my early twenties was relatively low. I kind of knew it, but I didn’t really know-know it. You know? I had friendships that I didn’t deem myself worthy of. Also attention from dudes I didn’t think I was good enough for. Actions leading to consequences because I didn’t think further than myself or the attention I was getting, and I was doing some serious limbo shit with that low bar of mine. I thought I was funny, but I was skeptical when other people told me they thought I was funny. I clung onto the insults more than the compliments. I thought it was my fault when people treated me like shit and just heaped that onto my back with my already overflowing baggage.
I hid it well, though. I really made people believe that I had an abundance of self-worth/esteem/confidence.
It’s like when you know you shouldn’t be answering that midnight call, but you do it anyway. You have a voice inside your head saying you’re a fucking idiot, but then you’re also like… what? Suddenly I am deaf, I cannot hear this voice of reason inside myself.
And people please, an outside voice just simply cannot be the voice of reason. You can preach to someone all you want that they are better than the way they have been acting, or they are worth more, or they should aim for more. But it’s going to continue to fall on deaf ears, because to know-know yourself, you need to face yourself. Stare in that dirty ass mirror and reeeeeally look deep into those eyes of yours. Sink deep into that introspection.
Because often what I have struggled with is people trying to be my voice of reason, but I have x-ray vision and could see they weren’t actually dealing with their own shit. They were trying to tell me how to live my life while I could see that they had their own problems they weren’t facing. It’s always easier to focus on other people’s issues than your own. It’s always easier to tell someone they need help and ignore the fact that you do, too.
I preach therapy as the penultimate for dealing with anything to those closest to me, often to the shake of a head or a laugh because it’s my go-to advice; but I watch these people around me who know themselves, but they still don’t know themselves. And what’s so wrong with seeing a professional to help you really get there? To peak Maslow’s hierarchy? To really get to that juicy, sweet self-actualisation stage.
It takes time to realise that the people who treated you like shit were at fault. It was not yours. Place that baggage gently down. Step on it a little if it makes you feel better. And walk the fuck away from it.
It takes time to realise that you were worthy of the attention and the friendships and that you really are just that bloody funny.
It takes time to realise that you need to focus on your own bullshit before you can help anyone else shovel theirs.
You got to get to the gritty. To the bottom of the cup. Scrape those barrels, man. You know that shitty last shot of coffee? You gotta swig it. Choke it down. You can’t ignore that bit. Because otherwise it will stain the mug that is you, permanently making your tea/coffee/vodka that little bit sour. And in life, you cannot simply buy a new mug. You just gotta keep fixing the one you got.
Sure, you know yourself. But do you know-know yourself?