Somewhere along the road, over the past couple of years, I came face to face with myself. When the initial shock of the realization that I was in fact staring at myself wore off, all that was left was a bizarre feeling. It was not entirely disgust, nor was it much by way of admiration. It was, however, a feeling I could have done without. It was a meeting I could have done without.
There is that cliche in every language perhaps which talks of mirrors and the disappoinments they hold. If there isn’t one, there should be one. Mirrors do hold disappointments. It is only when we look at them in the light of experience and awareness that we realize just how much disappointment hides in a mere reflection. Right changes places in a reflection. Or Vice Verca.
I was a self proclaimed narcissist, and I went from being a narcissist to being an extremely shy person very quickly after that meeting with myself. Perhaps, I needed a certain level of ignorance about myself to continue to like myself, to admire myself to the point of being a narcissist, of being self assured, of being able to find fault with others and of being able to feel better enough than others to offer advice. I think my disappointment was tangible, hard and pointy. It broke the mirror; but it left me with that image of myself which is much less flattering than is appropriate for a self portrait.
I am comfortable being shy and not being cocky sure. The extent of my own short comings and the extent of my own weaknesses has dawned upon me, and it has taken away not only what must have been my over-bearing self assuredness, but also a lot of bitterness, pain, self pity and misery which I had built over the years. It sounds quite the paradox, doesn’t it? But it is the honest truth, once I realized I was not as admirable a man as I thought I was, I also realized that the world owed me nothing, and whatever I got from anyone was purely my good fortune, and much more than perhaps I deserved. It has taught me to cast my eyes down when morality surges inside of me urging me to take the higher moral ground once again, and I walk away, and continue to walk until I get to plains. I have developed a fear of heights I think. How easily we forget ourselves as soon as we set foot on an elevated surface, don’t we? Well, I did. Perhaps, still do, but hopefully we will never have to find out.
I looked myself in the eye, and the past flashed before me. I looked back and all I could see were ruins, and broken hearts, and tears. There was always a reason for me to cause misery, and having a reason made it alright to cause pain and suffering, disappointment and doom. I looked closely and there were some beautiful oases in my past. I pulled out objectivity and looked at the oases through objectivity; it brought tears to my eyes to realize that everyone of those oases was a reminder of the generosity, love and care shown to me by those whom I had wronged along the way. I blinked the tears away, and vanity reared its ugly head to try and convince me that my tears were proof enough that I had my heart in the right place. After all those oases of love and affection, generosity and forgiveness, which I had not played a part in making, what was my one consolation going to be – that I could cry at having been the epic failure I had been? It still surprises me to realize that when it came to myself I set myself such conveniently low standards.
To think I was oblivious to it all as I caused this mayhem all my life, and to think I had to come face to face with myself to see it all in a short span of time.
And to think I am deep down here.