There is a difference between self-love and self-loathing. There is a difference between self-care and neglect. There is a difference between knowing your potential and disregarding your self-worth. We as people understand when it is time to step back from the harsh realities of the world that often weigh us down, whether they initiate in the workplace, at home, or are projected upon us from the people we care most for. Yet, in actuality, do we as people fully comprehend when it is time to remove the focus from ourselves and take a deeper look into the lives of those around us?
One year ago today, I took the time to write a piece about the importance of taking the time to better understand one's self. It was at that time that I was questioning the decisions I had made in regards to my future and longed for a sense of self-realization with the hopes that I would feel a sense of security in the choices I had made.
I spoke of analyzing the intentions of the journey I planned to embark on, as well as the significance of better taking care of myself along the way. After looking back on the words I had written one year later, I hold each and every one of them to be true. They are values that I live by, and I continue to believe that, if you do not strive to be the best person you can be, you will be unable to be the best you can be for those around you. It was at that moment that a different sense of self-realization struck me. Now that I have come to better understand myself, have I done enough to better understand others?
I feel as though there is a certain sense of judgment we are inclined to pass on others. We receive opportunities for first impressions and often gather our opinions from there. We hold our guards to the highest of extents before we allow ourselves to let people in - before we allow ourselves to gain an understanding of them.
Throughout my life I have found that it often takes months, even years, to comprehend the true notion of how a person operates. We often do not know what struggles the people we surround ourselves may be facing. Frankly, in today's society, people choose to internalize their problems rather than externalize them. I strongly believe that, in order to better understand a person, it is imperative to be open with them. You can only hope that you will receive the same sense of openness in return, though unfortunately, we are not always that fortunate.
One of the greatest abilities to possess is the willingness to communicate. For without it, things often get destroyed. It is crucial to let others know that you will be there to take care of them if they are in need - to provide them with a bond that can remain unbroken within the most treacherous of times. In order to better understand others, you must be ready to give of yourself. Give of your time, give of your patience, give all that you have. It will never go unnoticed.