A favorite of mine once said, “Imagine a four pane window. In the first pane is what others know about you; how they see you. The second is what you think others know about you. The third, is what God knows about you and finally the fourth window; The fourth window is what you know about yourself. By far the hardest window to view from in your lifetime will be the fourth. It is the most smudged and cloudy, however, it is the most important. Seek out that view.”
I subscribe to the idea that the first pane is none of our business and to dwell on the second pane is just a waste of time. I’m cool with the third pane, under the notion that, “God,” in whichever fashion we choose him/her/it to be is an all-knowing force, not to be reckoned with. I remember hearing my friend/mentor man speak these words and thinking, Ha, well, I’m ahead of the game. I know myself well, thank you very much. Yes, my 20-year-old self figured I had a pretty good grasp on the whole introspective life living thing.
Now I boldly proclaim that I haven’t a clue. How could I? I can anticipate how I’ll act in a given situation. While I have a pretty good inkling as to how I’d react in a hypothetical circumstance, there is no way to fully know until I am in it, living it. Sometimes I come out on top, occasionally I land under the bar set, and other times I surprise the hell out of myself. Those options can happen separately or simultaneously, surprising myself as I fall or rise to the occasion.
The older I get the more I understand and appreciate the necessity of putting myself out there. Pushing limits to see where I land. Getting involved. Stretching boundaries. I still haven’t a clue, but more than anything I appreciate the leap. Often, I find hilarity in the absurdity. More than anything, I see any given situation as a gift that I can choose to accept or decline. With each yes and acceptance I see a little more out of that fourth pane. I see a little more of myself, and I appreciate the view.