Thursday, October 22, 2015

Knowing Yourself

I've mentioned before that I used to think that I was a detail-oriented person. But I was almost literally nicknamed Miss Oblivious in the office. While I can handle detailed tasks, I'm actually much more focused on the big picture. I don't notice details. So how did I come to think I was detail-oriented?

I was raised to value the quality and so naturally desired to possess it. I thought I did. My family was detail-oriented, therefore I must be as well. I did not want to be different from my family in this regard.

I had a bit of trouble being honest with myself regarding this aspect of my personality. Not being detail-oriented isn't bad or good, but my perception made me cling to my skewed view of myself.

I have since accepted this. The main goal now is not to use it as an excuse when I know I could do better. Like leaving salt out of a recipe completely because I didn't read the instructions well enough...

Mentioning food--I recently discovered that I am a foodie. I basically love everything about food. I got excited the other day just because I found polenta at the grocery store... But I haven't wanted to label myself as a "foodie" because I associated it with the word "snobby." Perceptions again. Yet, "foodie" just means that a person is enthusiastic about food...and I definitely am that!

It's making me more aware of the fact that sometimes I really don't know myself as well as I think I do. Perhaps even those around me see me more accurately at times than I do myself. Yet I don't think that it's good to remain completely oblivious to who you really are.

How do you get to know yourself?

You could take all kinds of personality tests, but they only paint an incomplete picture. They're also only as accurate as your answers, and if you are either unaware or in denial about who you really are, the personality tests are going to give skewed results. They can be a fun game, but I don't put a great deal of stock in them.

The one person that knows us for who we really are...and loves us God. Through His Word and His Spirit, He can reveal to us ourselves. The wonderful thing about asking God to show us who we really are is that He doesn't do it all at once. He does it kindly and slowly, leading us to better understanding and helping us to correct faults we didn't even know we had.

My prayer is that I will never shy away from the reflections in His Word.

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  1. I've always thought of myself as a realist -- where I am honest with myself about who I am and about live in general. Lol... And then something happens and I realize I've been living under a rock, totally choosing to be oblivious to some characteristic or life truth. I say "choosing to be oblivious" in the sense that I don't take the usual effort to lift the rock and exams things closer. I LOVE self-reflection and seeing how I have changed after a certain event or a particular relationship. I look at the Ranelle now compared to the Ranelle in some random past window of time and sit in amazement. :-)

    1. Sometimes it is a choice to be oblivious, conscious or not. Other times, at least for me, the obliviousness can't be helped and we need someone else to point things out, as Alyssa said.

      It is fascinating how much we can change from a single event. Is it any wonder when we are separated from someone for a period of time they become a stranger?

  2. I always thought some personality tests reveal more about what I value than who I really am. It takes a lot of honesty and self reflection to know yourself, but normally it takes someone else, namely my spouse, to show me who I am.

    1. Very true. We tend to see ourselves as having the traits we value. It's good to have someone that can gently correct those perceptions from time to time.