A lesson in self-realization and the need to embrace perceived flaws.
There is only one person in my life whom, I can heartily say, can be as easily distracted as me. The realization of my distracted tendency came only after I met this person. They are a person I learned to appreciate and admire. who will forever remain unnamed.
Funny how the the traits we notice and sometimes criticize, (speaking for myself only here) in others, are the same traits we potentially do not like about ourselves. The self-realization of my own distractedness came directly from judging another for their distractedness, in what we will call a ‘mirror’ moment.
During my ‘mirror’ moment I remember being SO annoyed by this squirrely-ness of this person in my life. Yes we are making up new words on this blog too. Ten minute conversations meant to have a purpose would instead, go from the likes of Elon Musk to a quick brainstorm of ideas to talking about our dogs. At first I thought it was great. The conversations were interesting and fast. However, after awhile it became too much for my brain to process. And worse, we were not making time to talk about higher priority topics.
After letting myself be annoyed and complain a tiny bit, I listed potential solutions to the problem. Soon after, I went into discussions using an outline and took notes the entire time. I even once (maybe twice… okay maybe for about a week) wrote down word for word what they were saying! Yup… I shake my head at myself when I think about this. It not only did not work, it made things feel unnatural and awkward.
After countless tries to make our conversations less chaotic, I finally gave into the experience and just let things be. The next conversation was when I realized… I am EXACTLY the same way.
With a bit of shock and that dreaded, ‘oh no’ feeling, I literally walked into the nearest ladies room and looked at myself in the mirror. I immediately starting singing that Adele song… “Hello, its me.” (not out loud though)… but then got back to my reflection exercise and told myself to focus. I stared into my own eyes, criticizing myself for judging another. Followed by getting that icky uncomfortable feeling. Realizing what I saw in this person was simply a reflection of myself.
At that moment, there was a decision to make and forgiveness to extend. My mind started swirling with thoughts: “Is this trait that I found annoying in someone else something I could live with in myself?”. “Do I work to change myself?”. “Can I accept myself as I am?”. “Should I set goals to train this character flaw out of me?”. “I can add this to my 1% a day to ‘improve’ myself, immediately!”.
Luckily, my thoughts were interrupted before they started to spiral out of control when someone came in to use the bathroom. I politely smiled, washed my hands for 120 seconds (can’t be too safe these days). It is too bad the soap didn’t also cleanse my mind, because my anxious worry came right with me.
Most of us have experienced this semi-anxious, semi-self improvement state. After all we are human and simply want to be the best version of ourselves. When we find something in us that we tend to not like in others, we usually want to change it and change it fast! As that particular day continued, I made the decision to accept this characteristic about myself. To stop considering it a flaw. After overanalyzing all the potential reasons I needed to change, I thought to myself, “What if I just let myself be this way?”. “What if I decided to enjoy this trait and harness the mental-chaos like a windmill harnesses the wind?”
After researching wind turbines and appreciating all they have to offer, the deliberate decision was made to accept myself. And to accept the person that played the role of a mirror in this little sketch life had to offer.
It has been a fun, sometimes frustrating journey in this mind of mine, however I seriously would not want to change it and will be forever thankful to the person that, by being themselves, taught me a bit about how to be myself fully.
One of my next posts will be about one of the people I’ve admired most in my life, and the steps I took to become more like her. Can’t wait to share with you!