Who am I if I’m not a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend?
This question was put to me in an effort to get me to dig deeper than my roles as to as to begin to understand who my authentic self may be. I’m in the middle of healing from a significant loss (more to come on this in subsequent posts), in an attempt to bring clarity through the grieving process.
I was aghast – if I take away my roles, what am I left with?
This question has me stumped. Five days later, I decided to write and think, since thinking alone wasn’t getting me anywhere.
I believe in “God.” So my first inclination is to answer by repeating the quote “I am a spiritual being having a human experience.” I do believe this. It just doesn’t seem sufficient.
There is no one thing that defines who I am. Or is there? This question begs other questions…”What is my purpose?” “Why am I here?”
The closest I can get to addressing the ‘who am i’ question is to look to my personality traits. My essence, my authentic self, is revealed by my personality, right?
Personality evolves over time, throughout the course of a lifetime, influenced by experiences in order to live out one’s purpose. And maybe that evolution helps to get us closer to fulfilling our purpose on Earth.
So what’s my purpose? At this point, I have no idea.
I believe in soul. I believe that the soul has a purpose, I just don’t know exactly what mine looks like yet. (I’m currently, very actively in the process of discovery.)
So why am I here? To fulfill my soul’s purpose. So my primary job must be to understand my soul so that I can fulfill its’ purpose. This makes a life.
Does our essence, demonstrated by personality, determine our experiences in order to satisfy the soul’s purpose? Or do our experiences drive us and reveal the soul’s purpose?
Maybe it just doesn’t matter.
I believe that we all have our own answers. We just have to listen and “look, see, tell the truth, and take authentic action.” (Thank you Maria Nemeth.)
I accept that my personality traits are clues to my soul’s purpose. This writing and thinking approach seems to be working.
Here are some of my traits, that I’m aware of at least (I’m choosing to look to the “positive” but maybe that’s limiting, after all we are not all “positive.” In fact, we are full of flaws. Actually, the more I think about it, maybe it’s even more important to look to the “negative” traits – look into the shadow for clues…)
I’m creative, caring, loving, open, kind, thoughtful, smart, introspective, earnest, funny, energetic, generous, curious, analytical, emotional, spiritual. Ok, I’ll include the flaws…I’m impatient, willful, lacking in confidence, controlling, anxious, reserved. I’m sure there are more.
These traits have evolved over time. The soul’s purpose doesn’t evolve. Hmmm.
Interests must come into play too – they help define who we are, at least for the moment right?
Here are some of mine:
I like writing, reading, music, meditating, praying, communicating, physical fitness – spinning & weight-lifting & yoga & walking & hiking – movies, art.
These interests have changed over time. The soul’s purpose doesn’t change over time. Hmmm.
And what about thoughts, feelings, and actions? They are all parts of who I am – do they define or reveal? Both? And what about imagination, what does it reveal? Where do these fit?
I’ve read so many different perspectives on the ‘who am I’ question:
What I know is that I’m on a journey of discovery. And I’m not sure I need to define who I am in a conclusive way. I’m all of the above – after all, none of those are mutually exclusive.
So there it is. I guess I am, as we all are. So really, we are the same. We are One.
For me, for now at least, I’m going to focus on the question of purpose – why I’m here, what my purpose is, and on living a life consistent with that understanding as it reveals itself, looking for clues along the way. And for now, I’m happy – if sometimes frustrated – to be on that path. I’m cool with that.
So that’s what I know, for the moment anyway…