You have an idea of who you are. It’s the most intimate version of who you are, the most detailed one. It has all the micro-details, good and bad, that make up you. All the flaws that are hidden from everyone else. All the strange idiosyncrasies, all the glitches and gestures that make you, you. There’s a version of you that you hold in your mind and the weird thing is that you are the ONLY person who has that exact idea of you. Nobody else considers you in that specific way. Every single person you know, or have ever met briefly has a different idea of you in their head. In most people’s versions you’re just an extra, a background character buying coffee. To others you’re everything, you’re pivotal, you’re the villain. The point here is that everyone has a different version of you, which can be completely different to the idea of yourself that you hold. The strangest part of all of that is, because everyone has their own idea of who you are, there is no real consistent, immutable you. There is no definitive thing that is ‘Daragh’. I’m different things to different people and so the version of me that I hold doesn’t exist for anyone else besides me. I would liken this idea to a mirror. The version of ‘me’ that I hold is what reflects back at me when I look into this mirror, but the people in my life see a different reflection of me, depending on what angle they’re at, or how far away they are from the mirror. The reflection they see may be distorted and false compared to my own, but it is just as real a reflection.
The reason I bring this up is that, we never really know the impact we have on other people. A good friend has to constantly remind me that I have a positive effect on people, because most of the time I don’t see it. I’ve always struggled to notice the impact my behaviour has on others, good or bad. Sometimes I do good things and make people feel good. A lot of times I can act harshly and unintentionally hurt people, yet at the time I can never see how my behaviour could affect anyone else. It’s pretty rare that I know exactly the impact I’ll have. On the flipside of that, there is an incredibly long list of people who make my life better on the daily by just being who they are, and by acting in their natural, unique ways.
I suppose what I’m really trying to talk about here is self-esteem and self-love. There are people who have positive impacts in life, people who virtually enhance the happiness of others around them, yet may not hold a positive image of themselves. There are people who secretly hate themselves yet are loved by everyone who knows them. You’ve felt this yourself. You’ve been over-critical to yourself. You’ve focused on the negatives which caused you to ignore any positive things you’ve done. You’ve hated yourself for one, small bad thing you did in the face of a thousand good things. We all do this. It’s no coincidence that we need our closest pals to reassure us that we’re not terrible people, because in the end of the day, our biggest haters are right there in our heads 24/7.
Show yourself some compassion. Accept that you’re a little messed up, but also accept that people love you regardless of your flaws. Be sound to your crew and be even more sound to yourself.
Life is a fickle thing, you might as well drive it like you stole it