Prompt: Benjamin Franklin said: “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” Do you think you know yourself well?
I think I know who I am, today. I’ve written a couple of times before about “becoming.” (https://threesaherd.com/2014/02/25/becoming-pt-2/ and https://threesaherd.com/2010/01/06/becoming/ ) I don’t think we are static. We are continually changing as life and its experiences touch and mold us. To really know yourself, you have to have time to evaluate. You must be brave enough to look even into those dark corners. You have to be honest enough with yourself to be able to see it all. More importantly, you have to be able to accept what’s there, or go into a deep, dark place. You also need to be willing to change what must be changed.
I know my strengths and weaknesses. At least I think I do. I’ve been called strong before. I would rarely use that word to describe myself. But then I’m looking at me through me. I don’t see what others see, maybe because I know what’s going through my mind and heart as I face whatever life throws at me on any given day.
I was talking with a younger mom last week. Her three babies are also pretty close in age. She is where I was about ten years ago. She said friends of hers ask her how she does it. I gave her a look of complete understanding. I hear it too. “How do you manage? How do you do it?” I don’t think about it. I just do it. What real choice do I have? Ah, but we do have a choice. And trust me, there are days when I sit in my chair and cry buckets of tears. There are moments I have to rely on the strength of my friends and family because I simply can’t do it myself. Then there are days I feel I can take on the world.
I think knowing yourself means knowing the ebbs and flows. When I was in my twenties, I was still working out who I was. In my thirties, I was working past the fear of seeing who that person was deep down. Now, in my forties (yikes!), I’m learning to be okay with who I am, but I’m also willing to keep working. We’re not done becoming until we take our last breaths.