TO KNOW, AND TO BE KNOWN--FULLY, COMPLETELY, IN SPITE OF.
If I had to boil one of my life passions into a single sentence, that would be a big one.
I love knowing people and being known. I'm not fantastic at the getting-to-know part, but once we get there, it's the best. It's a great concept when you are considering relationships with other people. I love hearing the words, "I don't tell just anyone this," leave the lips of a new friend. That says, I trust you. I want you to know this about me, because I want you to know me.
But how often do we think of this concept in respect to knowing ourselves?
TO KNOW ONESELF--FULLY, COMPLETELY, IN SPITE OF.
That "in spite of" part is often easiest left out of the equation. What do you mean, in spite of? I'm a GEM. Anyone would be lucky to be around me. (Excuse my vanity.)
In reality, there's a hefty difference between knowing yourself, and knowing who you want to be. Often, the "me" I let people see is the latter. I work my hardest to be that person up in the clouds--the one who's organized, and puts things into a calendar instead of on wayward sticky-notes--, all the while hoping and praying that they don't see the person I'm covering up.
I think it's important to have both in order to reach your true potential. Let's think of these things on a continuum--yourself on one side, who you want to be on the other. That tight rope in between the two skyscrapers is what we must attempt to walk.
We might even want to live smack in the middle.
Well, the closer you get to the true-self-only-side, the more you get stuck in the cycle of deprecation. You think, This is just the way I am. I'm never going to change, I can't be like them, I'm not cut out for this. Recognizing weaknesses is one thing, but dwelling on them without a vision or desire for growth is another.
If we teeter toward the other end, we live in the land of wishing and dreaming, WITHOUT any self-actualization. If we don't know where we actually are, how do we know what steps we need to take to get where we want to go?
To take it a little more grad-school, it's no accident that Maslow's very tippy-top of the hierarchy of needs is "self-actualization." This means knowing where you are, but the description says, "Reaching one's potential." Like I said, you can't have one without the other.
So what does this mean for me in real life? It means coming to terms with the fact that, by nature, I am not an organized person. I'm never going to put information anywhere but a sticky-note whenever it is first documented. However, knowing that about myself, and knowing that I would still like to get things done in an efficient way, helps me to realize a system that will work for me for now. I make sure to NEVER THROW STICKY-NOTES AWAY. There's some ridiculously important stuff in that wayward pile on my desk. And on the whiteboard. And inside my journal. I also go through my sticky-notes at least once a week and put all that info where it actually belongs and can be easily located.
See? Progress. Not delusion. Not perfection. Taking where I am, working toward where I want to be, all beneath the rain of grace.
Is there a difference between who you actually are, and who you let people see that you are? BE BRAVE! Let's start a convo in the comments.