Day 209: Why Can't We See Ourselves?

Throughout our lives, we never really learn to investigate ourselves, in fact, just the opposite – we learn to practically completely separate ourselves from who and what we really are. What do I mean by that? Well, we tend to form an idea about ourselves, the kind of person we are, that is based on ideas and thoughts in our mind. We have a certain perception of ourselves, that others will not always have of us. This is how we can end up being or feeling like we're 'misunderstood'. Like, 'they just don't get me', 'nobody gets me'. And that's because we have a separate version of ourselves in our mind. In our mind, exist all the justifications for why/who/how we are, all the dreams of what we 'wish we could be', all the imaginations of 'who we would be' if things had gone differently, all our self definitions of 'who I am' in relation to this or that - “I'm miserable when it rains' or 'I like this kind of music and hate that one', who I can/can't be around certain people or in certain situations. It is a whole lot of information we contain within ourselves, that isn't actually 'out here' in reality, where everyone else can see it. So, we can have a very different view of ourselves than others might have.

We never learn to investigate ourselves – this is leading to how others serve as mirrors to assist us to see ourselves as we really are, because we have been so geared to miss that, that this actually probably won't even make sense to you, until you actually witness it for yourself, which requires self investigation. You've got to really look at who you think you are, and who you are in reality – what values are you living out toward others that you wouldn't, for example excuse others form acting that way toward you, but that you've apparently justified it in your mind why in some situation/scenario you would act that way to another and so you don't even see when you are doing the same thing.

So, this is how it is that we can actually be completely oblivious to who we really are. I'm sure, we've all had those moments where we notice what someone else is doing, and we have the thought ' how can they not even see what they are doing right now??' or 'don't they even realize what they're doing??'. Like if someone makes a comment toward you and makes a certain face and you take it as they are being nasty toward you, and you are thinking 'how do they not see how nasty they are being right now?'

You see, it's easy to see it in someone else, because you're not in their mind, having the same experience as them, having had the same life as them, and everything that goes along with that which has led up to this moment where they are acting in that certain way. Now, it's quite different when you are the one acting, because you do have all your thought patterns and established patterns of behavior that you've developed over the years of your life that determine how you'll react in a certain way toward something, and so in that moment it is just going to 'make sense' why you are reacting how you are and you won't even question it. And so, that's why the other person apparently isn't noticing their own behavior either.

This is largely because as children, we're actually trained to act and behave in certain ways, you know, to 'do as your told', so we don't develop an understanding of ourselves and behavior in any way, we simply learn 'don't do this' and 'do that'. Thus, we basically learn to act in ways that will hopefully avoid a negative response, and that's about the extent of what we learn about behavior. We view our actions in terms of trying to avoid certain consequences. So our behavior becomes all about outward appearances essentially, where we're geared toward presenting ourselves to others in certain ways, and there is no focus on who we really are within ourselves, and what the starting point is behind our behaviors and actions.

It is important that we get to understand this point, so that we can start to develop a self awareness and get to understand ourselves, because the way we are living currently for the most part is very consequential, in all aspects of our lives, as we can see that the world is busy falling apart due to our negligence.

Luckily, we can utilize the function of how it is seemingly so easy to see what another is doing, to unlock the secrets to our own behavior, which is quite a fascinating, illuminating, and ultimately self-empowering process, and I will continue with that in the next post.
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