One of the great things I found about spending a lot of time on my own is that it has made me extremely introspective. Most of the time I love my own company, I love to ruminate in peace and go over things, fit the puzzle pieces of everything into place, it’s sort of like getting my internal admin sorted out. Filing away memories, noting interesting people I’ve met, conversations that made me laugh and things and moments, throwing away the negative feelings and planning my next few days. It’s highlighted my strengths for sure but being alone has also shown me the things I’m not good at too, my weak points and character flaws. I recently came across a quote by Flannery O’Connor – ”To know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against the truth and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility.” I love this quote.
Often we hear a person talking about themselves in passing, talking about their life or their choices or a failed relationship and they mention their flaw, their personal character weakness, but then they justify having it or laugh it away. It’s very rare you’ll hear someone openly and humbly admit that they have a fault and that they’re working on it. As adults, we know right from wrong, we know what mistreatment looks like, we know when it’s us who is at fault or someone else but we often don’t take the time to ask ourselves questions like – Why do I do that? Why do I say things like that on purpose? Do I want to create quality relationships or not? What do I need to do to sort myself out in that area?
I’ve heard exes of mine admit to their shortcomings and issues, but while they knew of them, there was always a barrier preventing them from really digging deeper inside themselves and figuring out the why and working on changing it. I guess sometimes in life we get so comfortable being who we are as we are, we just simply say (and I hear variations of this really often) if they don’t like me they can keep walking. Or keep going. Or leave. Or whatever. Which basically means – I know I have bad traits, but if you don’t want to put up with them well goodbye! I choose my bad traits over a possibly fulfilling relationship even though I’m really looking for one, thanks!
How many people with that kind of attitude can really and truly say they are in deeply fulfilling relationships? Because I’ve seen them and I can honestly say they are not. If you never get to the core of who you are and openly see the dark and terrible and downright shitty side of yourself (which we all have) then how can you really know yourself? If we all went through life never fixing or bettering ourselves, who would ever want to love or keep loving us? Or want to stay in our lives and be there through everything while respecting us? But then I realise too, we live in a time where nobody wants to be vulnerable anymore (at least not openly), nobody wants to admit that they suck as a friend or a lover or human. No one wants to reach out and ask for help or admit that sometimes they are the reason that somethings don’t work out, that they are wholly to blame for it. But a person who admits to their failings and the work they need to do is so much more attractive than someone saying ‘’Well if you don’t like me as I am then you can leave.’’ Isn’t it? It’s like saying – I’m great and perfect as is, I don’t need to improve in any area and I won’t deal with anyone who dares point out my flaws.
Different people come in to our lives and show us the different sides of who we are. They take us to places and levels we haven’t explored before. Just because we’ve never been told we aren’t good at handling a certain thing, it doesn’t mean it’s not true. Maybe this is the only person who actually had the nerve to point it out. It’s happened to me, where someone has come along and pointed out a flaw of mine and I rejected it completely and used phrases like the ones above, I’ve been that person, but I also know that later on when I was alone, I knew they were right. When I really thought about it, I realized I did do that thing or act that way.
The whole ”you do you” mentality while we sometimes ARE justified in thinking it and using it, mostly it makes us detached, unfeeling and disrespectful. It pumps up our ego and blinds us to the reality of our imperfections. If we’re not willing to accept the flaws in others, well why should they accept ours? You do you is a great attitude to have permanently if you plan on living on an empty island never needing another human being again. We need to be okay with knowing that sometimes there’s nothing wrong with being shown the error of our ways, we need that in order to fully evolve and become the best versions of ourselves.