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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Coping Skill: #52. Climbing a Tree

In a tree at a Blenheim Palace grounds

In a tree at a Blenheim Palace grounds

One place you could often find me growing up was in a tree. Damp willows were a fairy fort, sturdy oaks a reading room, tall red pines a looking post, and birches a pale beauty too elegant to touch. Usually, I climbed to the very top and overlooked the amazing land at my feet with excitement and hope.

Coming down was always harder. Leaving my secure (if a bit dangerous) spot frightened me. Emerging back into daily life with my feet on the ground was much less appealing than being a free bird ready to soar off into new lands.

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