Understanding my own faults and imperfections should be relatively easy. After all, I am living in my mind and body all the time. It would only make sense that I should have some insight. And while I certainly feel like I have a handle on my crazy, I've yet to make heads or tails of the past, nor have I been able to explain it in words. For the most part, I'm looking forward - not back.
It makes me think how we like to think we have OTHER people all figured out. In reality, it's next to impossible to know what's really going on in their lives and heads. The best we can do is to project our own experiences on them and make an educated guess.
Considering that this world is full of people who are - at best - mildly successful figuring themselves out, it's mind boggling to think we are all trying to figure each other out too. Talk about a mess!
The really sad part is that we often understand the motivation of other people more than we do our own. Most likely, because we've caught ourselves doing whatever it is they are doing - at least once or twice. It's pretty transparent sometimes.
Over the past few years, I've been working to stop making excuses for my
inadequacies, mistakes and lack of wisdom. Once I realized how transparent it
was to other people, I felt pretty silly. I'm sure I have some denial and repressed emotions floating around in my psyche once in a while. But, I'm only kidding myself. I'd rather look silly by admitting I'm clueless, than to look
ridiculous by trying to hide it.
Today, I witnessed examples of both sides of this coin. I witnessed someone I care about being honest about mistakes from the past. It didn't make them look silly at all. In fact, it made them look wise and caring - and it made for a more open, real conversation.
Later, I witnessed someone talking in circles to hide their true motivation. It didn't look good and it was hurtful. It slammed the conversation shut like a mousetrap.
Since it's not often we see these two things in the same day - by two equally important people - it made me stop and pay attention. I'm being shown something important... and it helped me come to a decision.
I don't want to be facing my future with any illusion that I truly understand my own actions any more than the next guy. AND... I certainly don't want to find myself living behind excuses. So, as I move into this next decade, I am going to do my best to be honest, or keep my trap shut.
You may hear me stop mid-excuse and say, "Okay, that's not true... here's what's going through my head." I hope it will appear wise... and lead to more open and real conversations.