Self Awareness Or Self Deprecation
ETIW Weekly Newsletter: October 23, 2023
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Self Awareness Or Self Deprecation (Issue 13)
I’ve missed the last few weeks. I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything. Things got busy in my life and I had to get into a new rhythm. Some of you might not know this, but I moved out of NYC and have been spending the majority of my time in New Jersey. Being in NJ has been kind of strange. I never expected to be here during this chapter of my life. After resisting it for so long, I have been learning to surrender and accept it.
That seems to be the ongoing lesson of life. Contrary to the level of life-control I though adulthood would provide, I find myself having no choice but to bend to the winds of favor or misfortune life chooses to bestow upon me. But at the end of the day, I realize it is up to me to decide which way I want to view things.
Truthfully, I have experienced many moments of loss and solitude in my life.
As I’m sure others, regardless of age, have as well. Many people I once knew and saw daily in different seasons of my life never followed me into future ones. For example, by the time I went to high school, there were many friendships I had held dear in elementary and middle that I never heard from again, and some with whom I have reconnected since.
Moving to America at such a young age, I often felt like a fish out of water. I didn’t realize it at the time but this made it hard for me to know how to appropriately express myself. I did not know how to forge deep connections even though I desired them.
The age old question: Is my glass half full or half empty?
Which brings me to the topic that has been plaguing my mind recently. I have been having moments of being overly self-aware after instances where I feel I got too lost in an interaction or conversation and lacked self-awareness. Does that make sense?
For example: Being super caught up in a conversation with someone and then realize I might have spoken too much and not paused at the appropriate times to let the person share their perspective at the right time. Only realizing after the fact, and wondering if I came off as “too much” then the thoughts begin to spiral, and “too much” becomes “not good enough” which becomes…
Actually, I think I’ll stop there...
Often times this overwhelming “self-awareness” might lead me to have quietly loud thoughts in the back of my mind that the person or friend in question now has a distaste for my existence or our connection.
To be honest, I know these types of overthinking come from the sudden loss of the life I once knew, and friendships I once cherished. The way I have felt ignored in the past when I was trying to be honest with someone about how I truly felt. The ways I fear my oversensitive heart has caused me to lose relationships that I thought were just right if only I could play the right part, keep quiet, ignore my feelings, etc.
However, in many recent instances where the “Monster of Self-Deprecation” comes out to play,
I soon realize the thing it has blown out of proportion is not an issue at all, or at least not a big one. The friend messages me back, they want to see me again, spend time with me again, stay in touch etc. And even if they don’t why must I be tormented by the fear of it happening? Just because I have suffered loss does not mean I should not be open to forging new connections. It does not mean I have to be perfect in order to be loved.
This realization came with an epiphany. This Monster of Self-Deprecation’s favorite accessory is the iconic “rose-colored glasses”. It loves to convince me that things were better in the past, that everything will go wrong because I was not good enough then, and I obviously must not be good enough now, not until I learn to be perfect. Not until I am pristine in all my ways.
But this is not true.
It is important to walk through life with a sense of self-awareness. Next time I feel passionate about something or find myself going on a tangent during a conversation with others, it would be good to recognize that and adjust accordingly. However, to allow the self-awareness to become self-deprecation, to allow myself to become tormented by thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, would only give the demons and monsters of the human experience free reign to turn me into an anxious and antisocial individual who feels she has no value in society or in the lives of those she loves.