Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. (Alan Watts)
Among the books beside my bed is a quasi-devotional paperback called Daily Imperfections. A birthday gift from a friend in 2001, it still grabs my attention from time to time – and today was one of those times.
When I picked up the book today, I noticed that it was bookmarked at 10 November. (How apt.) Under the header, “Know Thyself”, was that vivid Alan Watts quote.
I read on: “You’re not the best person to figure out who you are. You’ve been with yourself too long. You have no perspective, no judgment, no objectivity, no distance. You need help. Ask people who know you.”
The piece ended by requiring me to admit that I have no clue to my true identity.
But I want to go further than that. I’m a believer in the declaration made by George Bernard Shaw: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” … which is perfectly in tune with the lovely words of Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi: “I look in your inmost self and see the universe not yet created.”
How awful to reflect that what people say of us is true. (Logan Pearsall Smith)
Howarth, Enid, and Tras, Jan. 1998. Daily imperfections : 364 surprising and delightful ways to celebrate the imperfect you. Minneapolis, Minnesota : Fairview Press.