The art of "Self Awareness"

The ZEN DEN in Doylestown posted this quote on Facebook this morning.

“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” -William James

It reminded me of some conversations that my husband and I have had recently. Question – is the image we see in the mirror really what we look like? We see ourselves every day. Do we miss the changes that happen over time? When I run into someone I haven’t seen for a while I sometimes find myself thinking, gee, they look older. Do they think the same of me?  Do I have lines and wrinkles that have appeared so gradually that I just don’t notice?

The physical is only part of the broader question. I think very few of us are really self aware. We see ourselves as we would like to be. For instance, I know people who think that they are really good singers. Some of these people are really good but some are flat, tone deaf or just plain bad.  That scares me because I think I have a decent voice but wonder if what I hear is what other people hear. Same thing goes for personality traits. I’ve been in the presence of folks who think they are the life of the party and others wish they would just stop monopolizing the conversation. I’ve known people who think that they are nice and sweet and everyone loves them when just the opposite seems to be true. 

True self awareness is probably less common than we think. Maybe that’s ok. Maybe we see our better self when we look in the mirror, and maybe, if we strive to be that person that’s a good thing.

Music to ponder by: Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror

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