Who are you?
I’m not asking you what labels the world has given you. Those are easy: friend, mother, father, writer, teacher, student, sister, brother, friend. Those describe a role outside of yourself, a role in the world.
Instead I’m wondering about deep down at your core. And mine. Who are we? Really. Truly. Buried beneath all the expectations, obligations, guilt, want, need and God knows what else.
Who. Are. You?
That question is a lot harder to tackle than the assumption of labels. But don’t run from it! Don’t close this and pretend you never saw it. Please. It matters. For every single one of us. Because without answering this question, the world and our rat-race culture have their way with us, and we may never really know our truest self.
We all cover up, like a woman smearing concealer on those dark circles under her eyes. But in this context, the process is sneaky, insidious. Most days, we don’t even realize we’re adding layers that bury us. We just do what we have to do. We smile when we're fighting to hold back the tears. We act like we’ve got it together when one part of our life, the part that few (or maybe none) know about, has crumbled and we are too afraid of judgement to let the world see it. Sometimes we can’t even let ourselves see it. We learn to turn away from that real self so we can be who the world needs us or wants us to be. But it’s still there. Hidden like a prisoner in solitary confinement. Buried alive, but alive it is, niggling at us, whispering to us. If we’re quiet and still long enough, or if something happens that shakes our lives violently, forcing us inward, we hear it.
I’m figuring out how to visit that deep place and listen to that voice within, especially when circumstances pull my focus outward, which is always. I’m learning how to be still and quiet and listen for it, how to reach in and rediscover it. It’s hard to stay in touch with that intangible part of myself in a world full of tangibles. None of this is easy. Maybe that's why we avoid it. It requires us to fight the current of everything outside of us. I’m so well practiced at wearing the labels of the world that I sometimes don’t even realize I’ve shut out the voice again. Until I’m reminded that the answers I seek aren’t out there. They’re in here.
I wonder if anyone ever becomes a master at this. Okay, sure, the enlightened ones do. Gandhi. Buddha. The Divine One, Jesus. But for the rest of us, it’s a daily challenge. The world doesn’t reinforce our authentic selves. Hell, if we don’t really know our authentic self, how can the world know it and reinforce it? So we have to do that for ourselves. We have to spend time in the quiet and be patient as layers are lifted and our true self is slowly revealed. Along the way, we have to own our true identity and love who we were created to be. That part bares repeating:
Love who you were created to be.
Throw your Self a kiss. Tell your Self you love her. Thank God for the You you were meant to be. Say it out loud. Every day.
Much of the world outside ourselves may not get it. That can be hard, but that's okay. Find your people who are also doing their soul work. I’m here. We’ll do it together. And there will be moments when we’ll hear that quiet voice from within and we will rejoice. Because you will be You. I will be Me. We will be True. And that knowledge of True self will allow us to wear the only label that really matters: Divine Creation.
Peace, love and Truth, Underdogs!