I was doing a wild, wiggly dance with my daughters and the random thought popped into my head that if my kids are looking to me for guidance, they are looking to a very odd person. I am not the model of how to fit into society by any stretch of the imagination. Anyways, as I continued my pondering, as I am wont to do, I began wondering that if I can't teach them how to be cool then what can I offer them, exactly? I mused about this for a second or two and the maxim "Know thyself" came to mind. I can teach them how to know themselves just as I have spent the majority of my life doing. I know myself a great deal thanks to my unwavering love of observing myself and analyzing the sh*t out of everything I think, do, and feel (yes, there are negatives and positives to this). So why is knowing about yourself so important? Don't most of us spend our weekends drinking to escape ourselves?? Well, one could argue that most of our individual and social ills are due to a lack of self-awareness and self-understanding. When we get stuck in negative life patterns, when we deny our needs so many times that we stop even noticing we have those needs in the first place, when we continue to engage in behavior that we regret later, this is all due to lack of self-knowledge. Through knowing ourselves, we can actually make informed choices about what we do. The less self-knowledge we have, the less conscious actions we take which can cause us to live a life that we don't even like or want. To truly know yourself is to be able to create your own life instead of making choices due to fear, pettiness, or dysfunctional patterns. So, in a nutshell, I can't teach my kids how to fit into society because I never have (and probably never will). I was built differently and, since they are my kids, they probably are too. What I can teach them is how to navigate this world as someone who is different. And I can teach them how to get to truly know themselves. How to think deeply about life's most pressing questions and to not allow the noise from society to drown out their own tender self-discoveries.
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