How well do you know yourself?
Elementary school made me hate reading, I have a really hard time focusing and that was never addressed. Reading is still something I struggle with but I make time for it everyday, at least 30 to 45 minutes because I greatly fear knowing the same things I know now in 5, 10, 15 years, to not have any new knowledge not even about the most basic of things, it's scary. This fear hit me when I was about 16 for a few reasons and I realized that:
No choice is still a choice.
Not choosing to learn (about myself and the world) meant choosing not to grow as an individual, to be as ignorant as possible by choosing not to learn about the world that I'm living in and that I have an impact on even if it is quite a small impact. I realized that choosing to not learn about who I am can be very dangerous because, if we do not know who we are then we allow others decide for us and we let them define us and we believe the image of us that they have created, to be us.
That's the fastest way to grow depressed whether aware of it or not, it's an easy way to start filling up the voids of your unknown self with superficial things like shopping addiction, food, alcohol, substance abuse, etc.
There's always something missing and empty in people that only live their day to day to keep an image of someone they're not, it is especially true in those who place their value as humans in money and material things.
I believe it all boils down to a great lack of self awareness and a lack of essential knowledge, and both can be achieved with a lot of introspection and also by learning about the world, history, reading and listening about others life story, so to not repeat the destructive patterns of the past, not on yourself and not on others.
Here are some quick exercises to help you measure how well you know yourself by asking yourself these questions:
1. What do I want for myself? (consider career, love, family, etc)
2. Who am I right now and who do I want to become? Am I doing the necessary changes to become that person?
3. Am I living true to myself?
4. What are my virtues?
5. What are my flaws?
6. What things do I like about myself?
7. What are my priorities right now?
8. To what degree have I actually controlled the course of my life?
9. What am I content with and grateful for?
10. What do I like? (consider hobbies, foods, general interests, etc)
Fill in the blanks:
1. I feel happiest with myself when _______________
2. I feel motivated by ____________________
3. My favorite way to spend the day is ________________________
4. If I wasn't afraid I would _____________________
5. If money was no object I would __________________________
Other ways to practice introspection:
1. Keep a journal. This can help you identify negative patterns that repeat in your life therefore allowing you to change them by becoming aware of them. It allows you to reflect on past decisions, allowing you to identify what works and doesn't work for you.
2. Ask yourself "why" three times before making a decision.
Example: "I'm thinking of quitting my job"
"Because I can no longer stand how I am being treated."
"Because my supervisor can be very inconsiderate in many situations, not only towards
me but also towards my co-workers."
"Because the company doesn't have an assertive communication oriented
You can keep asking yourself why as many times as you need to go deeper therefore getting clarity on what to decide before making a final decision.
3. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. The way in which your inner speech develops is highly critical . When talking to yourself keep this in mind: Would you allow anyone to speak to you the way you talk to yourself? . How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake? and, what about when you succeed at something you're doing? Do you call it luck and downplay your efforts or do you recognize the effort and dedication you put into it?
4. Ask for feedback. Be careful with this one, you should only ask for feedback to people whom you trust that can be direct, unbiased and honest.
5. You can take the free Myers-Briggs Personality Type Test which can help you learn more about yourself.
Books I recommend that can help with getting to know yourself better:
Toxic Parents - Susan Forward
Ikigai - Albert Liebermann and Héctor García
The Sublte Art Of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson
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The Four Agreements: Part 1
“Domestication and the Dream of the Planet”
∙ In human domestication, the information from the outside dream is conveyed to the inside dream, creating our whole belief system. --- language, judgement, book of laws (like commandments, etc.) or morals, faith/religion.
∙ The human is the only animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. --- explanation for guilt and punishment (self sabotage & victimization in my case)
∙ Every time we remember the mistake, we blame them again and send them all the emotional poison we feel at the injustice, and then we make them pay again for the same mistake. Is that justice? --- Learning to let go and not keep score. Not classify this feeling of a need for “justice” as a defense mechanism or source of pride.
∙ We learn to dream hell in our own life, in our personal dream. The same fears manifest in different ways for each person, of course, but we experience anger, jealousy, hate, envy, and other negative emotions. --- fear is the source of negativity ruling how we interact with each other and live our daily lives! Need to eliminate or come to terms with this fear???
∙ We don’t see the truth because we are blind. What blinds us are all those false beliefs we have in our mind. We have the need to be right and to make others wrong. We trust what we believe, and our beliefs set us up for suffering. --- Searching for truth (justice, happiness or a pleasant “dream”) constantly but these beliefs set us up for failure. Figure out what those beliefs are that are holding me back???
∙ Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive --- explanation for suicidal thoughts
∙ The result is that we feel unauthentic and wear social masks to keep others from noticing this. --- masking!!!! How I managed to keep a job and climb the ladder fairly quickly but fall down to ruins just as fast...
∙ But nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves, and it is the Judge, the Victim, and the belief system that make us do this. --- biggest reason behind my self sabotage. More than just “woe is me.” Judge, victim, and belief system was the slippery slope I always slid by on my way down...
∙ If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly. --- explanation for why I stayed in toxic relationships and friendships
∙ If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power. --- plan of action, next steps to take on this journey to self healing and growth!
Ruiz, Don Miguel; Mills, Janet. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) (p. 22). Amber-Allen Publishing. Kindle Edition.
I'll drive you to the hospital. with my boys lashton maybe? love you!! -fiancee
you know i think it says a lot about me that i could have easily made this very angsty but instead i made the active decision not to. this is growth
(tw for a bit of blood)
read on ao3
Things that are a good idea: universal healthcare, holding hands on cold days, turning off lights when leaving a room.
Things that are not a good idea: Luke Hemmings attempting to cook dinner on his own with no supervision.
The lack of supervision is his own insistence. When he’d first offered to make dinner, Ashton had very unsubtly indicated that he didn’t think Luke should take that on alone.
(“I’m not sure you should take that on alone,” he’d said. Luke doesn’t care for paraphrasing.)
Luke, however, had persisted. Now, standing in the kitchen with a Very Large Knife in one hand and a cutting board on the counter in front of him, he’s starting to regret this somewhat.
Most of the dinner had been fairly simple. Luke had successful boiled water — the right amount of water — and now the spaghetti is happily cooking away in the pot. Phase one of the meal is smoothly underway. It’s just phase two that’s a problem.
Luke is not good with knives.
He knows this about himself. Ashton knows this about him. His entire family knows it about him. Luke has a bad history with knives. Namely, he tends to injure himself whenever one ends up in his possession. Never intentionally. He’s just clumsy, okay? And clumsy plus knives has never equalled safety.
However. There comes a time in every man’s life in which he must learn to master a knife. Luke is not going to die unable to use a knife. He is going to cut this cucumber, god damn it, and then he will peel and cut the carrots, and in short he will be unstoppable. He and Ashton will have a delicious, healthy salad tonight. If it kills Luke.
Which. Like. Hopefully it won’t. Ideally it will not even lightly maim Luke. But with this overdose of optimism must come a healthy shot of realism.
“Alright, let’s do this,” Luke says, pushing up his sleeves. On second thought, he pulls off the flannel entirely, tossing it across the room so it lands on the tabletop. “You and me, cucumber. I’m not scared of you. I’m talking to you like you can hear me, which makes me sound insane, but that doesn’t scare me either.”
“Luke?” Ashton pokes his head into the kitchen. “Doing okay?”
“If you check on me one more time, I will commit violent acts with this large knife,” Luke says, pointing the knife threateningly in Ashton’s direction.
Ashton frowns deeply. “Can you blame me?”
“Have some trust,” Luke says.
“ Have some trust,’ he says.” Ashton snorts. “Show me you can use a standard kitchen knife without damaging yourself and I will.”
“I’m not going to die. It’s just a cucumber.”
“Mhm.” Ashton crosses his arms, raising an eyebrow. “Go on, then.”
Luke glares at Ashton. “Get out! I’m working here.”
Ashton sighs heavily. “Fine. But if you need—”
Ashton stalks away, probably to go eavesdrop or read cooking blogs and think about how much better he is in the kitchen than Luke.
“Okay,” Luke mutters, lining up the knife. “Here we go. Control. Precision. Focus. Olympic fucking figure skater levels.”
He probably sets a record for slowest, most painstaking process of cutting a cucumber ever. But somehow, miraculously, all body parts come out intact on the other side.
Luke whoops. “Fuck yeah! That’s how it’s done!” He points the knife at the cucumber, now in pieces on the cutting board. “I am the captain now!”
This is good. No, this is great. Luke is confident as he slides the cucumbers to the side to make space for the carrots. For the first time in Luke’s memory, he’s bested the knife. He is no longer at the mercy of a culinary tool slash impromptu weapon.
He never saw the peeler coming.
Nobody warns you about the peeler. There are no cautionary tales about children with peelers. No movies where the bad guy improvises a weapon with a peeler found in a drawer. So, really, Luke thinks this is an honest mistake.
This, unfortunately, does not help his current situation.
“Fuck! Motherfucker, are you fucking kidding me?”
“Luke?” Ashton rushes in like he’s got a fucking radar for Luke Fucking Up. Luke drops the peeler to the counter and gathers the fingers of his left hand with his right. The blade of the peeler had nicked him right over the knuckle of his thumb, and the blood is running down his finger thanks to the juice from the carrot. It stings like a bitch, although it definitely looks worse than it is. This is the only reason Luke can find for Ashton’s eyes going wide and his next words being, “Oh my fucking god, Luke. Are you okay? What happened?”
“I just cut myself—”
“I’ll drive you to the hospital, you can worry about dinner another night, I fucking told you—”
“Relax, Ashton, it’s not that bad,” Luke says, sidestepping him to get to the sink. He hisses as the cold water runs over the injury, but once the blood rinses away it’s obvious this is not more than a shallow cut. “Just a flesh wound.”
“This is not funny.”
“It’s not a big deal,” Luke promises, bending his thumb and extending it under the faucet. “The fucking peeler got me, that’s all.”
“Did you peel towards you?”
“The fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“Towards,” Ashton says, holding up the peeler and miming a peeling action towards his body. “Rather than away.” He flips the peeler around and does the reverse action.
“Ah,” Luke says. “Yeah, then.” He smiles sheepishly. “Oops? Lesson learned.”
“You don’t have to be so, like…prideful, or whatever, you know,” Ashton says, bringing the peeler over to the sink. Luke takes it from his hands and runs it under the water, rinsing the blade. “Nobody expects you to be able to make a whole meal with as little experience as you have, least of all me. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.”
“I think it’s fucking ridiculous that I can’t cook a simple dinner,” Luke counters. “And I can. I’ve just hit a snag.”
“Please let me help you,” Ashton begs. “I won’t be condescending or anything.”
“I know you won’t.”
“So then what’s the problem? Dignity or something?”
“I just— I don’t know.” Luke chews his lip and reaches to turn off the faucet. His finger still hurts, so he tears a paper towel and wraps it around his knuckle. “You’d be judging me for everything I don’t know.”
“I am not judging you, Luke, I promise,” Ashton says gently. “I get it. It’s not a skill you’re born with, it’s something you have to learn. But I don’t think hurting yourself is the way to learn.”
“I didn’t do it on purpose,” Luke grumbles.
Ashton takes another paper towel and hands it to Luke, and Luke stares at it for a moment before sighing and accepting it. “That’s my point,” Ashton says. “It was just a mistake because you didn’t know better. You don’t have to make the mistake to learn from it, you know. Other people have made the mistake. People like me. You think I didn’t cut myself the first time I tried to peel a potato? You’re supposed to learn from other people’s mistakes, too.”
Luke takes a deep breath. “It’s just cooking,” he says. “Not that deep.”
“If it’s not that deep, then please let me help you,” Ashton says. “Teamwork. It’ll go faster this way.”
The paper towel in Luke’s hand is damp now, and the one around his thumb is stained red. A timer goes off.
“That’s the pasta,” Luke says. He sighs. “Fine, you can help. Deal with the pasta. It has to have sauce on it. I think. I’m sure you’ll know what to do.” He lifts his hand. “I’m going to get a plaster.”
“You didn’t bleed on any of the food, did you?”
Luke shakes his head. “Be right back.”
Ashton nods and smiles. “Sorry for being pushy,” he says. “But I really just don’t want you to make the dumb kitchen mistakes I made.”
“I know,” Luke says, and even smiles back. “Sorry for being stupid and stubborn.”
“Ah, we all have flaws,” Ashton says, ruffling Luke’s hair. “I wouldn’t love you if you weren’t stupid and stubborn.”
“Personally, I wouldn’t mind if you weren’t so pushy,” Luke says, laughing over Ashton’s loud mock-offended gasp and scurrying out of the kitchen to Ashton calling rude things to his back.
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