Losing Sight of Yourself

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." - Benjamin Franklin

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin

You know yourself better than any other human.

Sounds simple, right? Why is it then that I find this so hard to remember? I look to others to tell me what I do well, how I look (or how I should look), and who I should become. When I need approval, I don’t even try to rely on myself. Instead, a friend or family member is sure to boost my self-esteem.

Or at least, that is how it has worked most of my life. A time arrives, however, when people around you belittle instead of charm, critique instead of comfort, and ignore instead of notice. Suddenly, you are forced to look at yourself in the mirror in confusion, wondering who you are without the words of others. Or perhaps, wondering if the bitter, nastier labels they stuck on you are the reality of your character.

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Can You Be Honest about PTSD Triggers?

I did it for the first time in my life. I told someone outright that he was triggering me.

So many different emotions are running through my head. Guilt, relief, fear, regret, shame, even a bit of pride – all of it is there.

What do I do now? Was it the right or wrong choice? Will I ever know that?

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Beauty Is Not Always in the Eye of the Beholder

Meeting Mickey at Breakfast

Meeting Mickey at Breakfast

When someone tells me I am beautiful, I rarely believe them. However, these kind comments at least make me consider the prospect. When alone, I barely even entertain the thought.

Why is it that we only believe that we are beautiful when someone else says so? I wonder when the day will come that we trust our own words and thoughts instead of relaying on the feelings of others?

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What Loneliness Taught Me

Selfie in mirror at Disney

Being alone can teach you about yourself and others.

“Two is a pair. Three is a crowd.”

That saying might not be true, but I have certainly experienced it at times. Children pair up, having a best friend and sometimes even a second best friend. Girls giggling with others while passing me by, being picked last for a team, roommates making plans while I watched – being alone has been an important part of my life.

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Choosing to Love Can Hurt

There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes - seize it, don't miss it. - Max Lucado

There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes – seize it, don’t miss it.
– Max Lucado

Love is often depicted as a flowery, happy emotion. Characters in movies fall into it with a single glance and are willing to give up all other commitments to follow its call. People break off relationships because the feelings are gone. Even some of the symbols of love (hearts, pink, flowers, etc.) seem a bit frivolous.

There is a sweet and joyous side to love. As a romantic, I am prone to see the world that way at times. There is nothing wrong with the tingling emotions when holding someone’s hand or making valentines for a special person. All of this is one important aspect of love.

However, there is more than just that. Love is also a choice, not just an emotion. We have to make the decision to care for others even when we are annoyed or respect others even when we disagree. These decisions are difficult and can hurt. Still, they show true love – more so than the fabled true love’s kiss from Snow White.

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