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It doesn't matter what is said or thought about oneself. It should only matter what is.|
But what 'is' depends on what is oneself at the moment the question is posed.
In other words, we can only answer the question 'what are we?' by getting out of ourselves first and then looking back like the person is not us but something out there....
A mirror is not good enough because the way the image is presented itself depends on how we hold the mirror, and it's only a physical aspect. What each of us should want is how we can honest see ourselves with no prejudice or emotion, then use the understanding as a stepping stone to answer the question: 'what is?'
I suspect once we can answer that question, a lot of things we have held closely to before will be relinquished. What is 'pretty', 'beautiful', 'stupid', 'suspicion', 'ignorance' etc. all about? They are just like props the showtime company puts up before the show starts for the audience waiting on the stagefloor. Each episode needs different props. It's supposed to be the night scene now, so up comes the moon and shimmering pond, and maybe an owl or bat. Then it's morning, find that male hen and sun. But day and night themselves dance with each other throughout one's lifetime, so their constant nature should sit in the background like the audience, in order for the essence and meaning of the show to come out.
What others say, and what we think of what they say, are just pieces of shiny things that decorate our lives; soon these will pass as fast as we change. I think what is more important is to find out what is the real value of life that's not about physical appearance, or internal capabilities, and then try to improve on them, so that as our lives move ahead, we will become quieter, more mature, kinder to more people, and less moved by perceptions, things and words which change from person to person, or from situation to situation. If you go through a long period where the situation keeps on changing, one day good, another day bad, and so on, after a while, it all becomes a bit meaningless. And the fact we can feel bad about 'meaninglessness' does say there is something each of us yearns for in life that is not about looking 'pretty' or 'beautiful' or what not. If even photos become blur by themselves after some time, what about the subjects of the snaps captured in the photos?
Both of us will pass away soon enough, the mosquito biting me, now, and 'me'.