I have learned so much over the years. Not that long ago a friend told me that I was self-aware. I think that means that I have gained an understanding of what drives me, what triggers my emotions, what upsets me and what provides some sort of happiness. Having said that I still am often bewildered by emotions that come out of nowhere and create uncomfortable feelings.
Perhaps it is like I heard someone say at a meeting this week. “I know enough to know that I know nothing.” I chuckled when I heard that. In fact got out my blackberry and sent myself an email with that quote. Ended up getting a tongue lashing from the chairman as he felt I was “playing” with my cell phone rather than participating in the discussion. Little did he know that I had heard something that made so much sense in my personal journey.
Perhaps it becomes a matter of recognition. Although having said that, I know full well that I recognize the feelings that wash over me in certain experiences. And then I spend time analyzing those, trying to figure out where they came from. And the more I analyze the deeper I slide into a state that leaves me depressed, angry and not willing to participate in life.
Perhaps I need to get over it. Build that bridge. Quit over analyzing everything that happens. Quit trying to figure out why people just don’t seem to understand. At one point this week I was frustrated with my wife and kids. They thought I was down. They were wondering what was wrong. I got frustrated. Did they not understand? It wasn’t me. It was them. The more I tried to push it the angrier I got. As I lay in bed that night trying to make sense of it all I concluded that I was probably wallowing in self pity. Although, god forbid, I would never want to admit that out loud. Surely those around me should recognize that it was their fault, not mine.
I came to the realization, the following morning, that I felt better. That was strange. After all, if my funk the night before was everybody else’s fault then why was I feeling better? Yes, I became more self-aware. I realized, came to an understanding that there were certain experiences in life that had been dragging me down the day before. I realized that my emotions had gotten the most of me. I realized that because of my unwanted thoughts and feelings my expectations of others were unrealistic. I realized that I had been unfair. I, in some bizarre way, was trying to punish those closest to me for what I was going through.
So what now? Surely at my age I should know better. Surely I should be able to control and contain those feelings that I KNOW are wreaking havoc on relationships. Now you know why that quote meant so much to me. “I know enough to know I know nothing.” I must do better. The irony is I know enough to know that if I can control those feelings of emptiness, regrets, resentment and, yes, self-pity, I am a happier person. That is a good start. But I need to learn even more. Make it a good one.