My high school English teacher often told me that I bit off more than I can chew. It was one of the first times I felt seen by someone. He gave me words to describe me that I never would have been able to put together for myself at that age.
He also wrote a praiseful college recommendation letter for me. And so did a few other teachers.
As a kid, I loved hearing what other people had to say about me. Yes, it my ego very happy. My ego loved the validation that I was a great student/daughter/contributor/etc.
Those words also helped my non-egoic self. They helped me gain an understanding of who I was through someone else’s eyes. Because I didn’t have the self awareness to understand how to see myself, that was a building block to knowing myself.
I’m not sure if that is how all younger people are but the 15 year old me definitely had to piece together the answer to “Who am I?” with these bits and pieces offered from other people.
I used to eavesdrop on my mom’s conversations in case she spilled a word or two about me. Praise was not something given out in my household. I would linger nearby when she was on the phone or when she ran into a friend in Chinatown and soak in anything she would say. I took in all the words – the good as well as the okay.
What others say about us hold such weight. And without a strong sense of self, those words will shape us into whatever form our egos want to take regardless if there is any semblance to who we truly are.
Trying on words has been a helpful practice for me to see if they fit me. Sometimes getting an outside perspective is what we need to better understand ourselves.
A daily practice challenges the person who creates on “inspiration.” We have to mother everyday, and ultimately, it is the daily grind that gives us perspective, clarity and the “high’s” of motherhood. I am exploring if the same happens when I write everyday on the topics that normally light me up – motherhood, self-development, healing and creating. Sign up here to receive those thought nuggets in your inbox on the daily.