“You’ve got to know yourself so you can at last be yourself” – D.H. Lawrence
We know when we meet someone who’s at ease with themselves. They know who they are and they’re comfortable in their own skin. There’s no need for them to impress, play games or apologise for themselves.
If all we’ve ever experienced is disharmony within, we might envy them. “I wish I were like that”, we think. “Life must be so uncomplicated for them”.
The irony is that in order to be ourselves we often believe we need to be someone else entirely – someone better. Or, at the very least, we must “fix” what we believe is “wrong” about us.
But Lawrence doesn’t say in order to be yourself, you need to change yourself. He says you need to know yourself.
We often have an internal void where our relationship with ourselves should be. Then, rather than getting to know ourselves, we do anything else to fill the emptiness. We turn to food; spend hours on social media; keep so busy we never have a moment alone. If our behaviour could speak it would say I cannot bear to know myself.
And that’s a shame.
Because in getting to know ourselves we discover our sensitivity, our integrity and our individuality.
We uncover our strengths and vulnerabilities; our deepest desires; what values we hold dear and what makes our spirits skyrocket.
We identify our emotional needs and understand how to meet them.
In knowing ourselves, we can come to accept what makes us uniquely who we are and develop a sense of self solid enough to say “OK World – this is Me”.
Then we can, at last, be ourselves.