The phrase has been said, echoed, repeated, etched into my sense of being. This simple yet profound statement has served as a guide for myself and so many others. In times of doubt I find that in reflecting on my past; on what I know about myself as a individual; and what my experiences, desires, dreams and ambitions are, can provide me with clarity. More so, the process of know, of being aware of who I am, allows me to strengthen, and grow in places that need it.
The message “know thyself” has appeared in all sorts of media, from films such as Star Wars and The Matrix, to books like Harry Potter, comics such as Spiderman, Superman and Wolverine. The effect that this has had on the greater population is unknown to me, but what I do know is that on a subconscious level we are all being told to look within.
Currently I am in the editing process of book writing (the book title, what the book about and distribution info will be available in a whole other post), and during this process I have had to examine and reexamine myself through the words I have written. There is no sugar coating involved, no padding; there is only truth and honesty with myself. In some cases the writer that I was, insensitive, detached and uncompassionate. By reflecting on my own words/writing I have been able to acquire a deeper understanding, a greater comprehension of who I am as a person .
My quest for knowledge about myself has been fulfilling. I am able to identify my comfort zones, values, joys, pleasures and sexual identity. Knowing these elements, these parts of my being, these individual pieces that make up the whole of my existence allow me to have (as I mentioned earlier) greater honesty with myself. Furthermore, understanding my character make-up (I.S.T.P. Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving, according to my Jungian character type results; the eldest son and grandson of an Americanized familia; a California state university graduate; a bicyclist; a writer; a social activist; a gardener, an Angelino an artist and so much more) and approaching it with a sense of honesty and integrity provides me the means through which I can develop myself beyond my own expectations– aligning values with interests and dreams with reality.
I have always looked to the people that are present within my life for guidance; the belief that everyone has strengths, talents, and valuable knowledge is something that I have witnessed again and again. From Jesse Aktive Ramone, over at the Bike Oven who advocates for bicycle safety along Figeuroa Blvd and throughout Los Angeles; to Alejandro Molina and Virgilio Gonzalez who have revealed the fine art of publishing to me through their co-authored book Vive Pez— we, each of us, are each other’s teachers. Knowing that we can learn from one another is possibly the greatest insight that I have had, and without having looked inward first I don’t know if I would have the same appreciation for this knowledge.