How do you see yourself?

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Obviously, I see myself as always right, I know everything, and all of my opinions are accurate and well thought out! Okay- I know you couldn’t see or hear me laughing as I typed that, but it was really hard to do with a straight face. I am NOT always right, nor do I know everything, and sometimes I spout an opinion on something with no more fact behind it other than that is what I am feeling at the time. We are living in a world where our opinions and feelings can span the globe in seconds and with all that information out there is gets harder to tell if an article is written by someone like me, or by someone paid to report a certain way, or by a subject matter expert. So as I put my thoughts and feelings on the Internet for all to see – I try to spend a little more time researching what I write – or at least trying to get my thoughts together in a coherent enough manner to present them as something other than complete nonsense.

I am often misunderstood. I can spend hours on a post ensuring that my language is not offensive (sometimes easier said than done) and that I post both sides of a story or issue. That will never stop people from reading one sentence and deciding that I am full of shit. That’s okay though – sometimes I am. I see myself as someone who thinks differently. Not better, not right – just different. I have always had the skill of perspective. I do see that as a skill. To be able to put myself in a situation and see all sides and then pick one. That’s why I don’t quite fit in with any particular group; political or social. While I identify right now as an almost militant liberal – that hasn’t always been the case, I just see the liberal stance right now as something that is needed in a world where we want to take rights from people, have government control our choices and dictate our feelings, and the obstructionist movement going on in Washington needs as many voices against it as possible. Our country is out of balance and I am on the side right now that can help even the score a little. I do have some very traditional conservative views – but right now I feel it is more important to focus on children, education, families, and equal rights; all very liberal things. When I was in the military I voted Republican quite a bit – they used to be the defenders of my pay and benefits (not anymore though).

On the religious side of things – I see myself as non-religious. I see religion as a blight on humanity. Sure some of them have good intentions, but when do those good intentions disappear? When the religion makes enough money? When a religion has enough followers? When a religion gains social acceptance? Religion is a human construct used to serve human needs and while that in itself is not a bad thing – it becomes a bad thing when we use that religion to persecute those on the outside of it – which every religion eventually does. I pray, but it’s not to a specific deity – my prayer is more of a form of meditation. When I tell people that “my thoughts and prayers are with you” it is not that I am asking God to fix something, it just means that I am sending positive and supporting thoughts out into the universe – energy from me to them. In some cases that is all I can do. I want to be a part of a positive collective conciseness whether those thoughts and prayers are directed at a deity or not – I believe there is power in prayer and meditation when we use our energy for something other than asking for God to fix our financial situation or get us a new shiny bike for Christmas.

Now when I write about these things I am not looking to change people minds, all I am really doing is putting my perspective out there and asking people for feedback. That is how I learn. This is how I have become a tolerant person. It is not about agreement – it is about understanding. I see myself as an emotional explorer. Some people rock climb for a thrill – I get to know people and their motivations as a thrill.  I see myself as a seeker of knowledge in all it’s forms. I see myself as a lifetime learner – and it is my opinion that when you decide to be a lifetime learner concrete belief systems fall away. I think it is unhealthy to believe in just one thing. It is for me anyway. When I find myself focusing on just one thing to be passionate or outraged about – I try to force myself to step back and evaluate why I am so entrenched in a particular issue.

I see myself as a chameleon of sorts. One of the things Stephanie says she loves abut me is how adaptable I am. She credits this adaptability to my time in the military – and I would have to say that on many levels that is a correct assumption. You have to be adaptable to serve in the military  but not all people who serve are adaptable (especially when you get into the higher ranks).  Generals are not adaptable people – they have an agenda that was handed to them and they will do anything, right or wrong to meet that agenda. Power corrupts. Even in the military.  Sometimes ESPECIALLY in the military. Once you get to a certain point, you no longer have to adapt because you can make your own rules or the rules no longer apply to you.

As for the negative sides of me, I see myself as overly emotional, and I fail to temper those emotions at times. I am opinionated to a fault, and I doubt myself in so many ways it is a wonder that I have any confidence left at all. I am effected by people who don’t like me. I REALLY like for people to like me. It’s is important to me even though I know it shouldn’t be. At the same time, I want people to stay away from me. I am contradictory in many ways but I don’t always see that as a bad thing. I try to not be a know-it-all but because I have so many options and I am well read – but I tend to think I know more than most people. I realize that is an unfair assumption and speaks to a flawed self confidence; but it balances my doubts brought on by low self esteem. Did you know that you can think you are awesome and not worthy at the same time? Did you know that is sort of normal (if we can define normal).

We all have these things. Things we are proud of and hold on too and things we need or want to change about ourselves. We all have opinions and we all think that our opinions are superior to others- no matter how tolerant you want to be of others. I think the key to tolerance is to understand yourself – and the more we understand ourselves and evaluate why we think they way we do; that is what makes us more tolerant of others. I don’t have to agree with everyone to accept them. I don’t have to join their cause to show that I am tolerant of them. I just have to understand that I feel what I feel and others do the same. We don’t have to like it but listening to those other perspectives helps us to define our own.

How do you see yourself? Have you put much thought into it? In the comments, state three weaknesses and three strengths about yourself. If there was one thing you could change about yourself what would it be?

 

9 thoughts on “How do you see yourself?

  1. “I REALLY like for people to like me.” I do too! I always want to believe I can get along with anyone, but I also realize there are people on my list of “I don’t care if you like me or not” list because I’m not a fan of theirs. My weaknesses? 1) I fight my co-dependent tendencies every day. That’s what kept me in my marriage so long. 2) I’m obsessive/compulsive at times, which only serves to drive me crazy.. 3) I have attention deficit issues – “bright shiny thing!”. I try to focus on too many things at once and it always gets me in trouble.

    My strengths? 1) I inherited my dad’s sense of humor, which seems to be endearing to others. I love to laugh and make other people laugh as well. 2) I have HIM – Honesty, integrity, morals. 3) I’m a very social person. I may not always be the best conversationalist, but I love being with my girlfriends, coworkers, family, etc. People are way more fun than what’s on TV.

    What I could change? I want to be that person that never thinks twice about helping others. I believe I am a helpful person, but I do let laziness and other things get in the way. I want the helpfulness to come naturally and easily, as I see in other people.

    • I don’t mean to laugh at your “things you don’t like about yourself” part – but I laugh because we are the same. It helps sometimes to know you aren’t alone in your dysfunction – if that is really what it is. Co-Dependent; we are ALL co-dependent in one way or another. OCD – I think we all have things that drive us nuts that don’t really matter to anyone else but ourselves. Attention deficit – can you blame us? There are too many things to pay attention to and some of us try to pay attention to EVERYTHING.

      As for your strengths – do you focus on those more or your weaknesses? I think that is the key to a happy life. If we can focus on our strengths and nurture them, our weaknesses have less power over us. Everyone has a healthy combination of both but it is what we nurture that defines us.

      As far as what you would change – you have an easy one. I am lazy too. I don’t think that kindness comes easily – we have to work at that as much as we work on apathy. There is always someone in need of kindness and that is the easiest thing we can do for others. Next time you are at the grocery store, pay attention to hose around you. If you watch there will be someone who doesn’t know what aisle the peanut butter is in – help them find it. The homeless guy in front of the coffee shop – buy him a cup of coffee. We have more opportunity for kindness than we realize. Sometimes we just have to look for them and be brave enough to act on it.

      • That’s OK if you laugh. I laugh every time I can’t control myself from compulsively straightening out the paper in our 20 mail trays at work. It’s so silly! The answer is a resounding YES, I focus on my strengths – a reason why I started writing my blog (humor) and a reason why my calendar is always full (people). The honesty thing has always been in my life. I once got two candy bars out of a vending machine for the price of one, so I dug in my purse and put the money in the vending machine for the 2nd candy bar. Dishonesty in any form makes me feel icky.

  2. I don’t really know how I see myself. I’ve sort of lost my identity; it seems as if others are more willing to place labels than we are on ourselves. I just see me as… me. If that makes sense. I’m not an object, I’m a person, so I don’t “see” myself in any way.

    • I don’t know if you have a therapist or not – but this answer would fill at least a couple of hours. I used to say that, “I am just me” but in learning what makes me who I am is what I am learning to define. We are made up of so many parts that defining ourselves is one of the hardest things we will ever do in our lives. We can walk blindly through life or we can be active participants in it. The choice is individual of course – but I have found that examining why I am the way I am has led me to incredible insights and has made me a better person.

    • Jennpower, I have to agree with you. I too have had a very difficult time finding myself. I just came from my therapist and the entire hour was spent on me talking about just how much I hate being misunderstood. I have experienced being misunderstood in one way or another my entire life; even and especially with my family. I feel like I have always lived someone else’s life.
      When I was young I was living the life of my Mother, Father and siblings. As I grew that continued until I got into my first “serious” relationship at the ripe old age of fifteen. We moved in together when I was only sixteen and I feel I have been living his life ever since.
      I am forty now and that man and I have not been in a “relationship” for over ten years and yet I still find myself making choices based on his needs or his feelings. And I do it with anyone I care about. I am constantly guilty of putting others needs ahead of my own.
      I have spent my whole life in relationships and I take full responsibility for being the type of person who always takes on others’ issues and the type of person who always wants to help/fix people. I don’t know that I have ever really lived my OWN life.
      Forty years of going by what others think, feel, need or want has left me so unsure of myself that I don’t recognize myself the majority of the time. I am in a daily battle to figure it out, to figure me out.

      • What I meant was that we don’t define ourselves- we can’t define ourselves because humans are complicated. Others may define ourselves, but that’s because they don’t see us in our entirety. It makes it hard to see yourself- because we’re not pictures that can be defined and we don’t have some ideology hidden in us like in books. We’re human- We’re ourselves. We should just “live life” instead of trying to look at it, and how we fit into it.

        • Jenn, I see value in your thoughts and in all honestly I wish I didn’t have the need to define myself at all. I really wish I could ‘just be’. In some ways I do that, but in many ways I don’t. I want to understand myself, my desires, my motivations, my beliefs. I don’t feel I need to define them or label them, I just want to understand them. LOL It’s complicated isn’t it?

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