Who are you?
Beneath the titles that are associated with you, which could range from mother to wife to daughter to sister, they could encompass your occupation, and perhaps your hobbies; who are you beneath all of those things that you are to others?
Or, perhaps a better question is, who do you want to become? Who do you want that woman to be, the one that looks back at you in the mirror as you brush your teeth and apply your mascara? Perhaps you don’t even see her.
My middle daughter stated yesterday that she wants to be a preschool teacher and photographer. My eldest daughter has a running list of the occupations she’s entertaining. It’s emphasized to our children that they should have a goal to be “something”. However, as I sit here in all of my adulthood, I know that the label printed under my name on my business card is not who I am. It’s a piece of what I do, and perhaps that influences me, but it does not define me.
I was in a yoga class a few months ago (actually, this particular class was probably more than half a year ago now) where while we were all lying prostrate in savasana the instructor said (loosely) the following:
“You are not your job, you are not your bank account, you are not what your children call you, you are not the number on the scale, you are not the clothes hanging in your closet, you are not who you are in relation to anyone or anything else.”
I’m not sure if it was the low intonation in which the words were delivered, or the words themselves, but they struck me deeply. Goosebumps and fighting-back-tears deeply.
We are none of those things, and yet, we believe we are all of those things, feel we need to live up to being all of those things flawlessly all of the time, simultaneously, simply a being with whom a list of labels is associated, who accomplishes infinite lists of things to be meaningful.
Anything that you can stop having, doing or being is a role that you play. Who are you without that role?
Have you taken the time to come up for air, and ask yourself that question? Who do YOU want to be?
I never stopped to ask myself this question; I performed in my given roles and didn’t operate much outside of the day-to-day that was right in front of me. I didn’t look too closely in the mirror.
I have been giving more and more thought to the woman I want to become; not a destination, but an ever-evolving view of what comprises me at my core.
When I started looking at what I aspired to be, it was interesting to discover how I operated in ways that were a striking contrast.
So, what can you do to be more aligned with the woman that you want to become? Not to be confused with trying to be someone else, but connecting with yourself on an elevated level. Are there small shifts that you can make now?
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?” – C.S. Lewis