Know Thyself

I’ve been carrying this little key chain around in my wallet for months. I bought several for an activity with my bible study and accidentally ended up with one extra.

The one that says “Know Thyself”.

The one that I didn’t want to examine because even then I knew deep down that I was denying my true self.

Several months ago, I pushed this little brass tag away tucking it into my wallet, not ready to know myself. Thinking, hoping, that I was mistaken. Trying desperately to convince myself that I was happy with the life I had worked so hard for.

Fast-forward to yesterday, as I dug in my coin pouch for forty cents, I read those words again.

Know Thyself.

I have been through quite a lot in my life. I’ve lost a child and survived abuse. I have had mental breakdowns and helped my partner with his demons. I have dealt with those situations and more in my thirty short years on this earth.

But I always wanted to be ‘normal’. That has been my wish since I was child.

I thought that entering the professional field would make me normal. After all, isn’t it normal to hold down a job? To have a career? And I worked so hard for my career. It took several years but I moved up the ladder and became a valuable part of the company I worked for. But I was slowly realizing that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t keep the pace that a full time career requires.

And I hated that I couldn’t do it.

I talked to friends and family, trying to decide if keeping my career was worth sacrificing my health. I know that sounds like a question with an easy answer, but believe me, it’s not. To step down would mean admitting that I wasn’t strong enough to be ‘normal’. And through it all, everyone kept telling me that it was okay, that ‘normal’ is overrated. That  being happy and healthy is more important. And while I didn’t quite believe them, I knew that I needed to listen to them.

And so I resigned, effective immediately. My bosses were wonderful and supportive and I will ever be appreciative for that.  But I still felt like a failure,  so I went to buy myself a pity-burrito and saw that little key chain. And when I read those words, I remembered something my mom had told me.

She said that I am made the way I am for a reason. That God made me and God doesn’t make mistakes. Words she had told me thousands of times before.

But I had always fought it. I thought that I should be more, do more. That if i didn’t, then I didn’t have value. But in that moment, reading those words, I realized that I had spent the last 30 years of my life trying to be someone else. That I wasn’t willing to accept who God made me, who I am meant to be, struggles and all.

And that broke my heart.

I would never want anyone to be ashamed of who they are, and so now I am working on knowing myself; Accepting myself for the beautifully flawed person I am.


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