Last week my biggest ray and my littlest-middle got glasses. They were both delighted! My biggest-middle didn’t need them and was devastated! She begged me to buy her frames with clear lenses. I compromised by telling her that I would buy her some nice sunglasses next Summer.
When I was a child, wearing glasses carried a stigma. My sister had them from the age of two, and was the victim of many a name-calling session. Nowadays though, it’s fashionable to wear glasses, with people actually doing as my biggest-middle suggested – wearing frames with clear lenses.
This change in attitude led to my thinking about how we see things: how we see ourselves versus how others see us.
We all like to think the best of ourselves. We like to think that we are being the best person that we can be. This should be a good thing. We should be confident enough in ourselves to believe that we are acting in a kind, tolerant and selfless way towards our fellow human beings. Being human, however, we are not flawless. And that’s ok! But in truth, how many of us will admit our flaws, even to ourselves?
I’m currently at a point in my life where I’m looking at myself – the whole me! Not just the fragments that I like, but every last scrap. It can be hard, as I hate criticism – and this time it really is personal! What I’ve found though, is that by admitting my flaws to myself I can either work on them (if it’s something that needs to change) or I can accept them. The trick is knowing the difference. For example, I have a vicious streak (admit it though, I’m not alone in this one!) Mine only rears its ugly head if I feel pushed, but it’s something that I can (and want to) change. Counting to ten helps. Sometimes. As does furiously scrubbing my kitchen floor!
I’m also great at procrastinating. I’m sure it’s something that I could change if I worked hard enough, but at times it’s best to just accept the fact that some things will take me three times as long as I think they will! Unless said thing is clean my kitchen floor – then I just need someone to annoy me!
Something I’ve recently been thinking about though, is if the way I see myself differs much from how others see me. Now we’re often told not to pay attention to what others think; that as long as you be the best person you can be, it shouldn’t matter how others see you. I agree with this mindset, to an extent. It’s nice to think that someone can see all the good in you, but what about when they misunderstand you, and see negative traits that you either aren’t aware of, or don’t actually exist? I can’t do much to change a person’s negative view of me, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me. It would also be highly conceited of me to think no-one has ever thought badly of me before!
It works the other way too. How much of what I see in others is who they really are, and how much is a misunderstanding on my part? It can be a hard one to fathom, especially if you are generally inclined to try and see the best in people.
I don’t suppose we’ll ever truly know how people see us (unless they tell us) and even then, would we believe them? Or would we be more inclined to feel that we were simply misunderstood? I know which one I’d choose!
Perhaps the wisest thing would be that we go on thinking the best of ourselves. By the same token, we should strive to be the best we can be too. This includes accepting others as they are, as we don’t know for sure if what we are seeing is the whole person, or a misunderstood soul. Are we seeing clearly, or are we just wearing the frames?
How do you see yourself?