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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/12578-On-Knowing-Yourself.html
Spiritual: June 05, 2024 Issue [#12578]




 This week: On Knowing Yourself
  Edited by: Kit
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Do you know who you are? Do you know what you are capable of?

Sometimes who we are isn't that easy to discover.

This week's Spiritual Newsletter, then, is all about self-knowledge.

Kit


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Letter from the editor

Who are you? I have looked at this question before, in this Newsletter, examining the external forces that shape us. I want to revisit it, however, because I wonder if you know who you are. What are you capable of? What sets you apart from others? What makes you you?

It is true that we are influenced by the world around us. From the moment we are born we are exposed to the culture, faith, norms and standards of those around us. They share with us their knowledge, including what is and isn’t done in that society at that point in time. Eventually we go to school, where we are taught what is known, some of which may be proven wrong during our lifetime, because knowledge evolves. The workplace has its own rules – there are rules everywhere, many of them sensible, some probably less so, and we absorb them until we feel that this is how it is. This is how it’s done.

In the dark of the night, when nobody’s watching, who are you? What would others learn about you if they could peek into your private world? Are you the same as always, or is there anything different? A side to you that you won’t share? Can’t share, perhaps? I’m pretty much an open book. I don’t think there’s anything that I don’t share with my partner. He may wish that I would, sometimes – he may feel that he doesn’t need to know about my love of weird and wonderful Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fan fiction – but he knows me through and through, and he still loves me, and that is something special that I am eternally grateful for.

It hasn’t always been the case that people have accepted me for me. I haven’t always dared to be this open. Some members of my own family won’t accept certain sides of me. There’s an entire branch on my mom’s side who only send me a card at Christmas because they ‘do not agree’ with my autism. As if it’s a lifestyle choice that I could easily drop if only I were the kind of person that they’d like me to be. Indeed, the autism has chased off various people throughout my life so far. It makes it difficult for me to comply with some of the norms and standards of my society, and in particular social norms and standards. I am well-mannered, I rarely swear, and I will hold open doors for other members of the public, but I am awkward, too, and cannot always maintain eye contact, and I am not much for social gatherings.

It is perhaps because I am a little different that I’ve spent a significant amount of time having a look at myself, wondering who I am. Some call this navel-gazing, and find it self-indulgent, but how do you get to know yourself if you do not expose your inner self to an open and honest assessment? It’s not easy exploring the bad and the good. It’s not nice to admit that you fall short of who you’d like to be, on several fronts, and that while you may be able to improve here and there, there are some goals you will never be able to meet, because that’s not you.

Self-knowledge is hard. It’s not a one-off, either; it’s an ongoing process because there are things that you can only learn about yourself when you’re thrown into the kind of situation where that side of you reveals itself. That’s when you’ll know what you are capable of. For better or worse.

Who are you when faced with violence? When my boyfriend at the time was attacked by a group of rather big guys I placed myself between them to defend him. Yet, when sometime later I was attacked by a gang I never fought back. That’s how I learned that I am not a fighter, and I am better at standing up for others than I am for myself. Who are you when things go wrong? For example when the car breaks down in the middle of the road? Do you panic? Do you rant and rave? Or do you calmly handle the situation? I have learned that I spend an excessive amount of time fretting over what could happen, but when it happens I keep calm and deal with it. Who are you when you are given an order that you know is wrong, but not following the order will see you in trouble? I had an employer who wanted me to cook the books. I really needed that job to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. I couldn’t do it, though. I refused, and was fired.

So far my me is not that bad, then, but I have never faced the type of situation where my morals are truly tested. I do have a roof over my head and food on the table. My whole life I have lived in countries where most of what I needed is readily accessible. I haven’t faced a natural disaster, and I have thankfully never had to navigate a war zone. Who would I be if I found myself there?

I hope I would live up to the strength and courage of my ancestors. In World War II several family members assisted – and saved the lives of – many people who were persecuted by the Nazis, including a wounded American soldier. Some of my family were caught and ended up in a camp as a result. Not all made it back out. Would I have the same courage and strength of character? I hope that I would, not matter the cost.

I also hope that I will never have to find out. Self-knowledge is good – arguably necessary – but some tests are beyond what any human should have to face.

So, who are you, when you get right down to it?

Kit



Editor's Picks

Some contests and activities to inspire you:

FORUM
TLC Prayer Parlor  (13+)
A place where you can request Biblical prayers and/ or pray for others' requests.
#2073942 by 🌸 pwheeler - love joy peace


FORUM
Share Your Faith  (13+)
Are you spiritual? Religious? Or not at all? Can you incorporate this into your writing?
#2204562 by Kit


FORUM
Habit Heroes   (13+)
A challenge to inspire positive daily habits and friendship. You can earn cool prizes too!
#2165720 by 🌸 pwheeler - love joy peace


FORUM
Love Shouldn't Hurt Poetry Contest  (GC)
1st Poetry Contest raising awareness about abuse. Next round is June 1st- June 30rd
#2040807 by Lyn's a Witchy Woman


FORUM
SENIOR CENTER FORUM  (ASR)
The Place for Seniors!
#427318 by Kit


FORUM
Write from the Heart Poetry Contest  (E)
Write a heartfelt piece based on the prompt provided.
#2093224 by Purple Princess


IN & OUT
The Best of the Rest at the Bee Hive   (E)
JUN 2024 Contest is open! Submit your Crosswords!
#1134192 by StephBee


FORUM
Merit Badge Magic  (E)
A magical way to inspire your Muse! New themes to write about every month. Not a contest.
#2293943 by 🐦GeminiGem🌷


FORUM
Tour de Ports  (13+)
Come join this month-long review raid across all port colors! Exclusive MBs & gift points!
#2298873 by Jeremy


And don't forget:

SURVEY
Journey Through Genres: Official Contest  (E)
Write a short story in the given genre to win big prizes!
#1803133 by Writing.Com Support


 
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Ask & Answer

The Spiritual Newsletter Team welcomes any and all questions, suggestions, thoughts and feedback, so please don't hesitate to write in! *Smile*

Wishing you a week filled with inspiration,

The Spiritual Newsletter Team


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