The Greeks, those great philosophers, have a saying; know thyself. There is nothing more suitable towards self knowledge than objective introspection, which is what the Love Dares afford. Each dare acts like a sandpapering process, peeling away the known surface to reveal a previously unknown layer beneath. And in a situation where some festering has occurred, you can imagine that what is beneath will not be pleasant.
To a large extent, we all believe in self awareness, or at least, most of us do. Yet even to the most introspective of us come shocking eureka moments when we discover new facts/emotions/levels of existence which we had absolutely no idea existed. When that happens, we can either embrace the knowledge and act on it or we resist and suppress. Either way, this new discovery will not go away.
That is what I found out working through the Love Dares. I had to take a step back to acknowledge and deal with the self I was uncovering. She was not a very beautiful person, I can tell you. Yet beautiful or not, she was me and over the years I have come to love that person. This made dealing with some of the stuff I uncovered, not quite as stressful as it would otherwise have been. One of the things I am re-learning by taking the Love Dare is that love does what is best for the loved one.
With that in mind, even though I could have decided to repress or suppress these new, previously undiscovered facets of myself which I did not like, I knew it would not be the best for me so I have begun the process of dealing with them.
Something else I have discovered: if you are sincere in your quest to walk with God, He will pick you up when you stumble.
One of the unwelcome things I discovered about myself was a lingering anger; it had lingered so much it was beginning to fester. I had tried, in the interests of harmony, to bury it deep inside and to a large extent I guess I succeeded. Only, it had this habit of rearing it’s head at the oddest of moments and one of such moments was a few days into the Love Dare. Generally, I do not keep grudges. But that is because I like to talk things out with a person and let that person know how I am feeling. Once I manage to do that, I am fine.
However, in this instance that did not arise and I found myself taking out my hurt on dh. So I went to God for help – I have a happy disposition and I wanted to keep it that way. Typical of God, he stepped in. First I had to release the hurt to him. I admitted I was hurt and that I had no idea how to stop being hurt. I was also doubly hurt because I could not talk about it. Then began the slow healing. Gradually, the sharp hurt became a dull ache. I even found myself poking around it to see if it still hurt; I guess it does but it is no longer septic.
Then out of the blues, dh brought it up. I was shocked; not because he mentioned it but it was like I had asked God for help and he was going way out. Funny, that is exactly how he operates but it still takes me by surprise. He knew that the final act of healing for me would be to talk about it to someone I viewed as connected to the hurt even if that someone was not directly responsible for the hurt. So we talked.
I will not say I am completely healed – you never know those things until something comes up. But I can say two things:
- I do not hurt as badly as I used to
- From this experience, I have discovered more of myself and even though I do not like everything I am uncovering, I can honestly say that I love myself.
So, how well do you know yourself? And if you do, do you love that person?