If you met yourself
Imagine you would meet yourself as clone. The clone would be as interactive and present as you are. You have no control on the clone other than being you with yourself. The question that immediately arises is this one:
“If you met yourself, would you want to be friends with you?”
Yes, that’s pretty confronting because you know all of yourself and therefore also the less pleasant parts. The imperfections, the fears, the emotional layers, the traps, the behaviours gone wrong, the acts causing a mess, the pain and guilty feelings. Would those hold you back from accepting you as your own friend . . .
Of course you are more than your negative parts, and it is only human to have them, but since you cannot pretend them to not be there or only experience a somewhat moderated version of them by taking off the sharp edges, you will have to accept yourself in another way than we do with other people who’s sharpest edges will be more hidden for us. You cannot escape the full you when meeting yourself. The only one you know like this, the all inclusive version, is you. There is no one else you will ever know in the same way, even not your long lasting partner with whom you shared all. Really, all???…. hmmm, think again…
We like to call it that, to have shared ALL. Fact however is we never share ALL of us. That is not only impossible but also not very wise most likely. Everyone has some feelings and thoughts they prefer to keep to themselves. I in general am a person who likes to give and receive total honesty. I sometimes call it blunt brutal honesty. In some cases that simply is best. Especially when having delusional views or irrational beliefs we sometimes need to be told to be naive or not very realistic. And yes that can be hard but also will break the spell we sometimes cannot break in another way. I function better with sharing and receiving the unfiltered truth (provided it exists) to prevent mistakes and misbeliefs. But of course, like everyone else, I also know (or think and hope to know) when it can be better to moderate honesty into a less confronting truth. When I know my own unfiltered honesty (my truth) absolutely will do more harm than good I will adjust my choice of words. The fear to hurt someone can and will outclass my need for total honesty. This does need me to to be in control of my emotions. If I am not 2 things can happen: I hide and run away to not have to face a confrontation or I act on impulse with a reply that shows I am not in control. Those not in control moments really suck because it can make me do or say things I will regret later. I know everyone has them, but that does not make it nicer even so. Thank God they are only moments, but still, they can cause troubles lasting longer than a moment.
One thing is clear. Meeting myself has no escape from honesty at all. Therefore meeting myself would be a huge challenge and confrontation. Also very interesting however. A nice opportunity to observe and to act on myself with the same mindset, same experiences and same personality and character. Must be strange if we could do that for real :)
Yes & No pages
Let’s consider meeting myself as if I am reading a book about myself with all on me being present in that book. It would contain many pages, and give mixed feelings for sure. If every page/chapter on myself would require an answer on yes or no being ok with that aspect of me it would result in either one of these answers: Yes, No, Maybe. The ‘Maybe’ probably would win in how often it will be used as answer. This is because knowing yourself also means you know why and how things went, and if it is achieved despite all or because of all you did. This makes it hard to always be able to feel a 100% noise free (dis)approval. We are more ‘skilled’ and ‘eager’ to judge others with approval or disapproval than ourselves anyway.
“Then you shall judge yourself,” answered the king. “That is the most difficult thing of all. It is far more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then indeed you are very wise.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
It sounds as acting unfair. To believe to judge others in the right way and to not be able to judge yourself in the same way. The fairness exists in that we all have to deal with the complexity of judging ourselves rightly and others judging us (too) easily. In any case knowing yourself very well does not mean you also can judge yourself easily. You maybe would expect so, but the more you know, the more complex a judgement becomes. Details count and add new perspectives all the time. Those can be heavily contradicting and make it all very complex. Plus our own being biased (as in more forgiving or not) by knowing the full context and circumstances makes it hard as well. We tend to use context and circumstances as main or only reason for acting the way we acted, where it is more honest to say to ourselves we also or maybe even only acted by choice and not by chance. The ‘I had no other choice’ is not true in most cases. It is more fair to say you decided that this was the best choice you could make for yourself, but at least a CHOICE and not something that happened to you and no responsibility to take. Not that events and all that does happen to you do not matter. They do of course. But how you deal with them matters more if you want to judge your own acts more precise. When weighing all your choices but also look at them as something that happened to you, your view on your own acts and life becomes blurred, subjective and random. You create your own story in a way that suits you best to not have to feel too bad on it all the time. Or the opposite will happen. You judge yourself too hard and feel like being a bad person. This has to do with the idea we need to be perfect and a good example always, as if no mistakes are allowed, a tendency we are exposed to a lot in our high performance society. Ughhhh . . . .
But what would it be?
Oh I would accept myself as friend. How could I not? If not I would be denying my own presence as being ok enough and I will not go that far and hard on myself. I know my imperfections quite well. I know what I did less good or even bad. I know what needs improvement. I know the good parts of me too. I am just as human as everyone else, trying to make the best of it. The things I do not like in myself make me feel less ok sometimes yes. We always can be a better person than we are today or how we were yesterday, but that does not mean I always also am in the process of making it so. Enough ‘excuses’ and others to ‘blame’ but it mostly will be my own lack of effort or interest which makes me choose to not act on improving. That in itself I do not consider something negative. There can be valid reasons to keep things as they are for a while when it serves you and others well. I think being aware of why I feel and do things helps me to accept the less good parts in me. It also stimulates me to work on them. Knowing what can be improved generates feelings of guilt when not doing so. To not be eaten by that I always will act after a while. This is a never ending dynamic in everyone I think. Juggling with all our odds and ends to keep it moving forward. So yes, knowing that of myself would make me ok to be friends with myself as clone. Someone trying their best is all we can hope for really. That’s no guarantee for never making mistakes. On the contrary maybe . . . when trying a lot, you also have to choose a lot and thus more chance for mistakes. In a way that is charming. It makes us vulnerable and humble. But when in the middle of it it can be annoying, upsetting, embarrassing and scary to have to go through mistakes and face the consequences. Still I prefer mistakes above perfection all over. Best way to learn and in that perspective mistakes are the biggest game changers and best improvement tools.
What would you say to yourself as clone?
Quite a few things probably. Not because I am not knowing or doing any of what I write below at all, but as reminder.
- Talk less, act more.
- Think less, feel more.
- Enjoy the pleasures of every day instead of trying to prevent the bad of a next day.
- Invest in what and who makes you happy.
- Value and respect your friends and loved ones.
- Never give up when life is tough.
- Be empathetic to who need and deserve it.
- Accept and adapt when needed.
- It’s ok to make mistakes.
- Forgive (undeliberate) mistakes by others.
- Love who love you.
- Don’t take someone for granted nor let them take you for granted.
- Make choices when a situation asks for it.
- Judge yourself before judging others (wooahhhh, hard one).
- Talk with yourself to know yourself even better.
- Really listen to others and don’t accept to be not listened at yourself.
- Respect boundaries and make your own.
- Don’t waste time on persons who only take and never give.
- Try to be polite but never fear honesty.
- Hold your breath and count to 10 when shit happens.
- Zoom out when too much details mess up your view.
- Be genuine.
- Be picky with who you allow into your life.
- Don’t expect too much.
- Don’t demand too much.
- Don’t give too much, but do what you do with passion
- Hope, always hope, but without losing your touch with reality.
- Use common sense above emotional outbursts
Well the list is endless if I would spend more time to think on all I find important in my life, but you get the idea I suppose. I am not so easy on myself and not on others either. In short I could summarise my choices and preferences like this: Quality over quantity and being picky in what real quality is. That’s what I thrive on. And it only needs a little drop of that to feel intensely happy. Like a heavily concentrated essence. Less is more when the less is of the best quality.
This means in terms of daily life I miss most of what is going on. I hardly need a social life, I crave for an inner life I can dive into with myself and a few others that feel like close to me for having that same way of life. The hermit I always call myself is not happy with modern life where hypes on social media and endless entertainment determine the talk of the town and even world politics. They are annoying distractions to me and have no value. I hide for most of it. Too much means needing an anti-dote like nature, music, silence, write, read or sleep, to escape the multiple rat races and mass madness over whatever it is that makes other people feel alive. It tires me, this hyperactive presence of facts and opinions and every single detail blown up to the size of a gigantic volcano. So I choose to live remote, away from the centres of warped life. I need slow and calm as main feature, with limited eruptions that really make sense. Having a cat or other pet also is very helpful. To watch them having their independence and inner peace with just living their life is so calming. Yet they also choose proximity with the few humans or only one human they really need. Quality over quantity, again.
Conclusion: Know yourself, meet yourself and be yourself is all you basically can do to make the best of yourself.
But . . .
No matter how well we try to make the best of it all, fate and unexpected (mis)fortune also are part of our life. Just you still can choose to deal well or less well with either of them. Bruno Bozzetto shows how fate works in ‘Life is random’.