Friday, January 29, 2010

Shaking Your Own Hand

IMAGINE IT. Coming face to face with yourself, say at a party, as if you were someone else, but meeting you. What impression would you make? Of course you’d love yourself... or would you?

We struggle to imagine such a scenario. What truly would it feel like to shake our own hand or kiss our own cheek or smile at ourselves—as if the other person? Being able to observe yourself would truly be weird, even tangibly off-putting. Tried watching yourself interacting with people from a sideways glance at a mirror?—yes, off-putting, totally. Yet, take us deeper, please!

We imagine a thousand interpretations of other people observing—mere us—from this viewpoint. Without any effort at all we’re attributing their thoughts of us—how pathological we are, and again, without the slightest mental or emotional exertion. We flip to the nearest incorrect assumption. But this is not about disparaging ourselves.

It’s about seeing ourselves more truly as others see us.

Think about those crystalline golden shards of truth they see—they can’t help it. The real us. The man. The woman. The little boy or girl inside. It’s okay. We do this to them also; again without bearing any thought about it. They see us often better than we see ourselves, or worse. Take your pick.

Think about the things they can’t see, like what we’re thinking. We are enigmas.

Yet, their take on us doesn’t really matter in the final analysis. Does it? Is what they think really going to make a difference? Depends who they are and what they think, I suppose.

Shaking our own hands is about an empathy with ourselves in the midst of others. It’s taking the option of perfecting dually the inner sanctum and the outer fa├žade—reconciling all to the satisfaction of the scene we belong to.

We are the heroes of our own making.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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