The Difficult Part of Knowing Oneself

December 23, 2016

To live freely, it is necessary to know oneself, and I am not referring just to names, what I like to have for breakfast, etc. I am referring rather to those parts that are the hardest for us to look at and that hurt us when others dare to point them out.

Moods like envy, arrogance, cowardice, and many others that are known by every single person. Observe and ask yourself, What is it that tends to fill me with rage? Do I let it out freely, even taking advantage of its force to get what I want? Or do I hide it instead under a mask of rigidity, rationalizing the situation on a superficial level and completely ignoring all of those emotions that could tear down the wall that we built with so much pain over the years, letdown after letdown.

What would go through my mind if others saw me in that state? Could I love myself, despite letting myself feel and express negative emotions? Or would this possibly fill me with guilt, shame, and fear?

We are going to continue with the example of anger: imagine for a moment that you are in one of those circumstances that just by thinking about it, our entire body is filled with anger. Now hold onto that sensation for a little while without judging it or getting into a fight; watch how you behave, what thoughts this brings you, and what there is behind that anger, that rage.

Maybe you will respond, “What an unreliable person the other person is! Blah, blah, blah…” However, what the other person did does not interest me as much at that moment. The information that we have is just our own interpretation of their actions, which is what makes me believe that the other person meant to harm me.

Do we often get the feeling that others want to do us harm or do we feel like others ask too much? Or maybe we feel we are judged unfairly, overburdened with responsibility, powerless and resented. What is your inner dialogue like? The more deeply you can dig down, the more clarity and answers you will obtain.

During this exploratory stage, we can discover how deeply rooted our behaviors and learned habits are. We have often learned to react in this way from childhood on, where as the children that we were, we did not have enough skills to fulfill our desires and we needed others to do it for us. Once we understand our way of reacting, as well as the fear and basic desire that is always behind that rage, it is easier to get out of that trap.

We are no longer children, we can take the reins, take care of our needs ourselves, without waiting for another person to do it. In short, this is how we gradually conquer our freedom, understanding the sense of our emotions, listening to them deeply, replacing our usual automatic reactions with conscious decisions inspired by the intimate knowledge about what is really happening to us. In order to live freely, we have to know who we are, follow the path inspired by our own essence. Knowing oneself is essential in order to be happy.