Understanding Yourself

By Sophie Winik, Regular ContributorAugust 8, 2015

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle.

Think about that quote. Do you know yourself? Do you understand your own feelings? Are you aware of your feelings and when they suddenly change?

So many of us have a hard time expressing into words how we're feeling and why we're feeling a certain way.

We have trouble telling others why we're feeling mad or sad, and the only way we know how to show those feelings are though little teardrops drizzling down our cheeks.

It was a day at work, a preschool, and a little girl was just beginning to learn what preschool is. She had never been away from her mother since she was born, never had another adult (other than a family member) talk to her, listen to her, play with her. She was a little girl with a sparkling tutu and separation anxiety. She would come each morning, crying her eyes out when her mother would leave, sobbing so loudly, as if to express to everyone that she was feeling abandoned. This continued for days. The poor little child unable to comprehend the changes that were taking place, unable to express into words what she was feeling, just crying and sobbing as a way to tell her story.

Each day the child came to preschool a storm of tears would pour down her face. Every teacher, including myself, wanted so much to help the little one feel better, but no matter what we did the child did not want to succumb to the happiness we wanted to give and show her. After the fifth day of walking into a new environment, we could all see that the little girl was slowly becoming more comfortable around us, beginning to smile, and beginning to talk and show interest in having fun with other children. The next day I was playing with her in the sandbox, watching her slide down the slide and look through the little telescope on top of the play structure. She looked around and I asked what it was she could see. “I see trees and birds and buildings!” Then she looked at me and said, “I think I’m having a happy day. I haven’t cried at all today and mommy comes back soon.” After hearing her say that I couldn’t believe my ears: here was a child who was able to recognize that she was feeling differently than before, and she felt accomplished and proud. She was a 2-year-old child, learning the difficulties of change, but overcoming them with triumph and recognition of herself.


image via marshfieldclinic.org

It’s not easy for anyone to go through change and experience something unfamiliar.

When you finally realize that you are ok with the changes you are experiencing, you feel accomplished and proud of yourself.

This little girl was able to understand her own feelings and when she suddenly realized that she was having a happy day, it was as if she could now do anything; the hard part was over for her, she’s now ready to tackle the world ahead of her! Use your feelings as a guide to help you succeed. That is, what Aristotle would call, “the beginning of all wisdom.”

Let's chat!

Have you ever undergone a major change? How did you handle it? What did you learn about yourself? Tell us below!

About Sophie

SOPHIE_WINIK_writer_bio.jpgSophie is a preschool teacher in Southern California. When she is not teaching the little ones she is writing stories about her experiences with bullying, with the hope that her words will help others stand up against bullying and be another voice to end the hate. Sophie is also an artist who loves to paint and draw and is studying to be an art therapist, specifically working with children. Check out her anti-bullying stories at kindrevolutioncampaign.wordpress.com


Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.

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