Who are you?

My anxiety often has my mind so turned inward and caught up in what I imagine others may or may not think of me and whether or not they “approve” of me, that I lose any sense of who I am separate from these things. Rationally, I know that these things don’t determine who I am or my net worth as a human being, and yet I still live (if you can call it that) basing so much of my sense of self on the answers as I see them.

Last night in the response to the question I posed to myself – “Who am I?” I came up with a list of things that was surprisingly unrelated to any of the above.

I discovered (remembered):

  • I am an Aunty
  • I am a Neighbour
  • I am a Daughter
  • I am a Sister
  • I am a Granddaughter, Cousin, and Niece
  • I am a Citizen

I also notes that I am a number of other things, but for me these seemed to hold less weight:

  • I am a flutist
  • I am a writer
  • I am a thinker
  • I am a problem solver
  • I am a reader

What I found  interesting was that the first list I experienced to be incredibly freeing: all these wonderful things that I am and that hold great potential that are not dependent on what I do, what others think of me, what I think of myself, whether or not I’m at a weight that I’m comfortable with and are stable in the face of any choices I make or actions I take. Without trying or doing anything, I am all of these things.

In my mind each of these roles and identities comes with some kind of responsibility and potential for positive action (What kind of Aunty do I want to be? What does it mean to me to be a global citizen or a decent neighbour?) but none of the answers change the the original title or role.

The second list of “doing” things is a little more shaky: am I still a flutist if I don’t practice every day? Am I still a writer if I haven’t written anything this week? Am I still a reader if I’ve been watching more television instead? There is more room for movement here.

Everyone is going to answer the “who am I?” question differently and knowing this, what is most important aren’t the answers themselves but what they mean to you.

To me, my list gives me a sense of inherent worth and the potential to be and do great things within each of these realms.

I am grateful for what I am.

I am grateful that I am…

Johansen.

Peace be with you 🙂

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