The Importance of Knowing Ourselves
Monday April 1, 2024

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The difference between seeing a picturesque historical landmark or landscape with our own eyes versus in a book or as captured in a photograph conveys the impossible task of knowing versus assuming.

To have lived through the experience of witnessing the sight of Swiss Alps as you ventured in your rental car to your chalet, tasting the crisp air, touching the snow and sipping the chocolat chaud after settling into your accommodations cannot be replicated by simply viewing a picture however picturesque of the snow capped Swiss Alps adorning the backdrop of an alpine village.

And in fact, we, as onlookers gazing at the picture, make assumptions about what that experience might be like based solely on our personal experience of winter excursions or what others have told us, or we have seen depicted as to be the case. In other words, we really have no idea what it would be like to experience the Swiss Alps for ourselves until we have set foot on the terra firm of Switzerland during winter once snow has arrived and we have journeyed to the Alps themselves to see with our own eyes and witness with all of our senses.

This difference occurs with ourselves. No one can know us better than we can know ourselves. The most intimate relationship we will ever have, if we choose to partake and get to know ourselves fully, is the one we have with ourselves, and everyone else is simply looking at a picture. Now, admittedly, some people who we share our time with or who we share intimate moments with or more personal exchanges with through work, travel, life chapters, etc. will have an exquisite original painting of who we are versus a print, but only we will ever know all that is contained within us, all that piques our curiosity, lifts our hearts, causes trepidation, prompts deep yearning or captivates our admiration.

However, the choice to get to know ourselves fully while common sensical in theory, is too often ignored or dismissed because either we don’t know how to get to know ourselves, or having attempted it, we discover that it will take time, involves temporary discomfort and may prompt us to realize we’ve accepted and lived by a false impression of who we actually are to gain acceptance by others around us, thus we will have to make changes to honor our true self. And so, if we’ve refrained from getting to know ourselves, we let others define and explain who are because it is far easier to follow along because the effort appears to be less demanding. In other words, to push back takes energy, courage and may involve discomfort momentarily when we don’t go along or agree to the labels that have been placed upon us; however, that is exactly what we must do. Especially, if the labels are meant to make us feel small, less than or inferior.

The reasons humans attempt to ‘know’ who other people are is rooted in the desire to know something that cannot be known, and as we have talked about often here on TSLL, the Lizard mind wants to know, and if it cannot know, it creates meaning even if it is impossible to possess such information. It takes someone who understands this natural tendency of the unmastered mind to wish ‘to survive’ and its origin, that is the Lizard mind, and consciously chooses to let go of simply surviving and become knowledgeable of how the mind works so that better interactions, relationships, choices and thus life experiences can be had that will elevate the quality of our lives. (learn more about the mind in this post, or read this book)

As I mentioned above, there are many reasons others ‘label’ or try to define who other people are, and until we know who we are fully, these labels can be detrimental.

Take for instance the efforts of a bully. With their name calling, disparaging remarks about our life choices, looks, or anything about us, if we do not know ourselves, we are more susceptible to believing their definition of who we are. However, if you know yourself well, not only will you ignore and entirely dismiss what they are saying, you won’t even consider engaging or offering a retort because you realize in their malicious actions, they reveal their deep insecurities and personal pain and are in need of healing and either don’t know how to do it or refuse to do the work, which will take time, as we shared above, to discover who they truly are and make the decisions that will lead them to true contentment.

When we know ourselves, we set ourselves free in so many ways, and we also create an armor of sorts that prevents us from being wounded by ignorant others who wish to limit, cause pain or bully us (in any one of the ways bullying can occur in our modern world). This brings more peace into our lives, a grounded state of awareness about not only ourselves but others, so we can be more understanding and more compassionate.

Before we conclude today’s conversation, let’s go back to the Swiss Alps for a moment.

This comparison of visiting the Alps also conveys another important truth: We must first consciously choose to get to know ourselves fully and then be willing to invest as it will take time and require focused persistent efforts to be tenacious enough to be honest about what we discover and then honor what is revealed once we realize we might have been letting ourselves be falsely defined by others’ understanding of who they thought we were (or wanted us to be).

In so doing, I have no doubt that we are setting ourselves free as often what we have accepted that we discover to be false is limiting our ability to reach our full potential. And when we cast aside false perceptions, a whole new world of possibility is revealed, and we welcome into our lives opportunities that will help lead us to what will bring true contentment, and then thereafter, elevate the quality of each and every day. In other words, this temporary comfort brings with it the gift that will surpass any lived experience prior to embracing your true self, and that is why we invest in ourselves. We are worth it, and when more people are at peace within themselves, having taken the time to know themselves, more of the world is at peace.

Wishing you a wonderful first day of April and an auspicious start to a brand new month of possibilities. Bonne journée. | The Simply Luxurious Life

Mark your calendars for June 2024, as TSLL’s Contentment Masterclass will focus on teaching students to familiarize (or defamiliarize) themselves with their true selves in order to cultivate the true contentment they week to elevate the quality of their ever days.


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