Friday, February 4, 2011

My essence.

The ultimate pride is committed in making yourself a god. I will try to stay as far away from this as I possibly can, esteemed reader, while talking about myself in this post.

In a retreat back in high school, I gave a talk called "Know Yourself" in which I shared much of my life and myself, my problems, my triumphs, in an effort to help my classmates figure themselves out. Ironically I did not really have myself figured out then, but it was a good start.

An (older) adult friend once told me that I know myself better than most people her age. I think it was one of the nicest compliments she could have given me, although she probably didn't know that. I think knowing yourself is one of the lesser great triumphs there are to have in this life. That being said, knowing yourself is always an ongoing process, since I find that even then I did not know myself as well as I know myself now.
Knowing who you are and why you are the way you are makes changing the things preventing you from becoming who you were born to be much easier.
I've always been fascinated with destiny. An emotional moment in the film version of Return of the King for me is always when Elrond presents the sword Andùril to Aragorn.

"Andùril! Flame of the West! Forged from the shards of Narsìl! Let go the Ranger! BECOME WHO YOU WERE BORN TO BE!"

And of course, he does. He realizes he is no ranger, but a WARRIOR KING! Peace and triumph follow. This is what can happen in our own spiritual battles when we know ourselves well enough to discover who we were born to be.

When you know yourself, you know your weaknesses. I find that some fundamental things about people never change. I call this your essence. Someone who is in their essence competitive at their worst can be arrogant and obnoxiously obsessed with winning and being the best. However, at their best they can spin this into being strong-willed and full of determination and confidence. Someone who is in their essence laid back at their worst can be lazy and sloppy. At their best, they can be insightful and peacemakers.

At our best, we become who we are born to be.

The essence of a person, though, is only how they are different from everyone else. I could say that in my essence I want people to like me, but the truth is that everyone wants to be liked by someone because they want to be loved. This is because everyone was created to be loved. The same could be said about everyone wanting to do the right thing (no matter how skewed their view of right or wrong is) and people desiring purpose and meaning to what they do (no matter what reasoning they may give to the contrary).

In keeping with the topic of knowing myself, I will try to relate to you, my reader, what I believe my essence is. I acknowledge the possibility that the rest of this post may seem prideful, but true humility is actually about being completely honest in the fewest details possible about our strengths and weaknesses when we are prompted or when it is completely necessary. That being said, in keeping with the theme of this blog it is always prompted and necessary to share as much about myself as is prudent to share with the internet at-large who may or may not know who I am.

I believe that part of my essence is that I am playful. I have lots of energy and like to run, jump, joke around and make people laugh.

I am also very focused on "the big picture." I love looking at stars and seeing the vastness of space and theorizing why it was all created. I like talking about the meaning of life and...why we are the way we are, incidentally. I like trying to find the deeper meaning behind everything we see on the surface.

I am nostalgic. I am romantic. I am pensive. I am affectionate. I am sensitive.

What this means is that at my worst I am lazy and distracted. I am insensitive to how people respond to me, and even annoying. I am despairing, judgmental, stubborn, prideful, and imprudent.

At my best, in becoming who I am destined to be, I can be joyful and spread that joy to others. I can be a relief in times of anxiety or sorrow. I can help people think more deeply about their place in the cosmos as immortal souls. I can be a great lover and be creative in expressing my own feelings, and serve as an inspiration to others.

That is my essence, such as it is, and as much as I know, I know there must be more I will learn along the path of life. And so will you.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was for all to know their essence.

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