I wasn't always into self-awareness. The person I am now is very different from the one I was years ago. I used to be driven by the need to feel superior, obsessed with what others thought about me; the kind of person who would put other people down to feel better about himself. At the same time, I stuffed my feelings deep inside, tried to ignore them and, consequently, felt horribly unbalanced and unhappy most of the time.
I grew up in a competitive family where you had to fight to be seen and heard. I was not encouraged to acknowledge or work out any of my inner conflicts, I simply had to hold them in and try to appear invincible. My family was ill-equipped to deal with anything emotional. Sure, we knew how to be angry, or sad, or fake happy, but not how to really deal with the core issues that were troubling us. The only way I got any attention was to be dramatic or clown-like because everyone else was so busy sucking all the energy out of everything they touched. This environment taught me to keep things to myself.
When was in my teens, I was an insecure mess who didn't know how to deal with himself or others. I was hurting constantly but was not allowed to talk about it. I didn't know how to build positive relationships. In my twenties I had no idea who I was and treated myself poorly because of it. People on the outside would probably say that I was affable and outgoing, but inside I was a mess. I hurt a lot of people in my teens, twenties, and thirties because I didn't know who I was.
Somewhere along the way I realized that I felt uneasy and disjointed because I wasn't living life as myself. I had learned to conform to the wishes of my family or friends but I hadn't learned to listen to my own inner voice. As soon as I discovered I could be myself, I started shedding all the garbage that had piled up on me and became a kinder, more empathic, more whole person. I pursued my own goals in life and worked hard to live genuinely. Gradually, I began building my self-awareness and healing the hurts from my past.
The person I am now barely resembles the one I used to be. I love being this person and hope it helps build a better world instead of one filed with strife and sadness. What kind of person are you right now?