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COMMENTARY: Knowing yourself

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Do we really know who we are? Do we really have a firm grasp or knowledge of ourselves? I have found that one of the problems that we have in our careers, families and inner beings is that we do not have a firm foundation of who we are or a knowledge of ourselves.

What makes us tick? Why do we react and respond to certain things the way we do? Why do we respond to our spouse in that way? Where did that come from? Why are we bothered by certain things? Who we are today did not emerge in a vacuum. Who we are today is the accumulation of our life experiences, memories, traumas, joys, successes and failures. It is the accumulation of where we grew up, what family and culture we were in and when we were born and grew up. All of these things impacted our development and conditioning. If we do not have a healthy awareness of these things we will never be in touch with our true selves. Our true selves are the “selves” that were present before all of the cultural, familial and childhood conditioning.

Understanding why we are the way we are and what makes us tick is one of the first steps toward a more holistic, enlightened life. The absolute first step is to want to know ourselves at all.

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