Recently, I have been on this journey of self discovery. I kind of wish that I’d done it a lot sooner. It is rather frustrating to have discovered this simple key that helps me understand others more and never took the time to  apply it to myself. I think I was just so busy with being busy that I’ve only just muddled through being aware of things when it comes to me.

But the one huge thing that I’ve discovered and has become crystal clear to me now, is…. how we all start out as kids. And the key for me has always been the word… HOW.


I know when I am aware of someone’s difficult past, there is a degree of forgiveness and grace that I automatically allow. It is so automatic that I hardly even think of it any longer. But somehow I forgot to allow myself the same grace. And that has been a pretty big revelation as I wander back picking up the pieces where I left off as a kid and who I was and why I am who I am today.

I think that I think too much and it drives me nuts. It is funny how some of us are wound. I know that in my life, letting go of the excessive thoughts could have set me freer. Wondering what others were thinking, making up in my head what they were thinking…etc.  In my journey, I  realized that I set different expectations for people in my life. There are some, where I see their faults but overlook them for the sake of our relationship and can live happily that way. Others where I notice them, but if it doesn’t effect me in my head (and who decides that?!) I can co-exist on some level that is annoying but doesn’t blow my day away because I have learned to distance myself emotionally. And then there are those poor unfortunate souls that  don’t have any grace at all. I am constantly aware of every last sin and call them on each one. WHY?! Maybe because they matter to me. What they think of me, what I think of them. They are the ones that make a difference in my life.

I know that I want to care less about everything, in the way that it effects me negatively. Though I know that I will always over think some things, but  as I understand me more, it won’t matter as much. Like the guy who cuts you off in traffic or the rude clerk in a store, have nothing to do with “me” and more about who they are… If I could only give the people actually in my life the same grace, my brain could relax a little more.

I think the thing that really prompted me to go back on this journey is this question that really caught me off guard…..

And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?

What about you? Hopefully you haven’t lived fifty years and just now realize the importance of the answer to this question.




12 thoughts on “The Importance of This One Question in All of Our Lives

  1. It seems that you and I tend to run parallel to one another. Whether or not it’s a past history review of flying airplanes or to just drop in to check up on your writing I always seem to experience a feeling of Deja Vu………like now. I’ve been looking back at my tenor here on The Third Rock also and wondering what if ? Curious, but very pleasant here. Hope you are well.

  2. Wow. This couldn’t have been more appropriate right now. I love that when you think of these things you have the grace to explore them and share them rather than suffer. And you really are one of the nicest people I ‘know’ so remember that when you are listing things you love. (Brilliant concept btw!)

  3. There is a great book called “Home Coming”, although I cant remember the authors name. The book details how we can travel back to our childhood, as an adult, kind of holding our child’s hand and walking up the dark stairs that haunted our child hood memories. It is our adulthood telling our child hood how safe we are now. The author says we need our faith beside us. He never used Jesus but I did as I was taken through this process. I worked really well for me. God bless and thanks

  4. I really like that little question, if I asked you to name all the things you love, how long would it take to name yourself? Wow. Something to meditate on long and hard.

    I’ve become conscious of something recently. The cool people are never or seldom self-conscious, like they don’t become embarrassed. That doesn’t mean they never screw up, they just don’t become overly aware of what other people think in a horribly negative way. To care what other people think is one thing, but to be crippled by what they might be thinking is quite another — that is uncool.

    It is interesting that some people have some powerful convictions. Sometimes those convictions don’t make any sense or are just plain wrong. It took me a long time to figure out that convictions come from something powerful happening to you that has crossed the threshold of what to can never allow to happen again. That gives me tolerance of other people and a deeper understanding of myself.

    1. Jim,
      That was brilliant!
      I know what you mean.
      It has always interested me from the time I was younger, who the choosers were and who the bench sitters were. What warranted the teacher choosing the team captains and why and what made the last ones to be chosen the last one’s sitting there, silently begging to not be the last one left. I have a feeling (or at least it is my theory) that those childhood moments had something to do with who became leaders and who became the followers or bosses and who became the employees or for that matter who became the bullies and who became the victims. As an adult, it has interested me. I was never first to be chosen but I was never last. And I kind of feel that I blended in nicely and have wondered was it because my childhood wasn’t terrible though it wasn’t without some problems that I know effected me. What makes us who we are? And can we create a different journey for the last chapters of our lives?

  5. A very well-written piece! i firmly believe in understanding the things we do, the attitudes we take, and the reasons for them. I believe that understanding the things we have done and said in the past can give us more reasonable control over the things we will say and do in the future. I think yours is a healthy outlook, and I appreciate your sharing it with us.

    As to answering your question, I’d say that this is one question that has never occurred to me. Tops on the list of those I love are my wife and son, either of whom I’d step in front of a truck for. Next would be my country, as I’m a twenty year veteran of the U.S. Navy. Beyond that, I don’t know where I’d place myself. Self-preservation is instinctive, but I don’t think it necessarily puts self-love high on the list. In May of 2013 I posted a piece on my own blog,, entitled “What’s in your rear view mirror?” that addresses my attitude on my own personal behavior and conduct. I’d put a link in here, but I don’t know how to do it. Basically it says that I take comfort in looking back at my own actions over my lifetime, and don’t see any instances where I’ve stepped on someone else’s face in order to get ahead. I take a lot of pride in that, and I think it’s a worthwhile achievement.

    Again, congratulations on the self-appraisal.

    1. Wow. So thought provoking! I loved this comment so much! I need to go read that post! I love the premise:
      Basically it says that I take comfort in looking back at my own actions over my lifetime, and don’t see any instances where I’ve stepped on someone else’s face in order to get ahead. I take a lot of pride in that, and I think it’s a worthwhile achievement.
      It is a very worthwhile achievement.
      THAT (above) could be a quote that I could see going viral. If only all of us had that character trait. The would would be a grand place, now wouldn’t it?
      By the way thank you for serving our country!
      And than you for being a loyal reader!

      1. PS: Just a helpful note….. Your gravitar (clicking on you pic) doesn’t automatically lead me to your blog. Just a hint… more people would find you if you set that up. Jim Gramze (one of the commenters here today has a great tutorial on it. If you click on his pic or mine… it should lead you to our blogs… a lot of people don’t bother to read if they can’t just click on your name and be sent to your blog but they are missing out on an amazing blog!

  6. Things that make you go Hmm!!!

    ” we are our own worst critics and to critique ourselves well…….. let’s just say, it is easier to squeeze water out of a penny”.

    ” We throughout this society are first to cast out against each other, but when it comes to self criticsm…….. it is like pulling teeth and consructive criticsm doesn’t exist within this world of Political Correction”.

    1. YOU don’t know how perfect that quote was for me today!
      >>>but when it comes to self criticsm…….. it is like pulling teeth and consructive criticsm doesn’t exist <<<<
      Yep! perfect quote. Everyone really is nailing it today!

  7. What an incredibly beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this. One tends to judge oneself so harshly, but has so much forgiveness for those around them. We have all had our share of heartache and pain, we are all human and the first most fundamental step is forgiving and loving ourselves. Thank you for the reminder.


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