This is a reflection on the process of reflection…and awareness. So, no deep and dark secret to divulge here. Aahh, so I am a private person after all, a private person blogging. Contradiction in terms?
How often have we asked ourselves, ‘who am I’? A simple question with a multitude of answers. Years ago, when this question was posed to me, my initial reaction was, ‘now, that’s easy’. I proceeded to list data about myself – you know, the usual date of birth, family origin, vital statistics, my educational background, my occupation and career aspirations, etc.. Not only did that not meet the word limit – yep, it was a piece of assessable work for a degree I was doing, I soon realise how limiting and shallow that perspective was.
Surely I am more than that. But really, who am I? Am I my personality traits? Am I my behaviour? Am I my thoughts? Am I my feelings and emotions? Am I some of these, none of these or all of these? Is the whole greater than the sum of all these?
What about the psychic messages we received in our childhood? What about the roles we now play? Do they mould us to who we are, or is there an essential ‘I’ within that influences us in spite of them?
Years before this questioning of my Self, a wise woman drew my attention to a beautiful quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
It has never left my mind. And at the point of my struggle with this question of ‘who am I?’, I kept returning to it. What makes me, me? What makes me, human? And because this quote resonates with me, I began to wonder about the spiritual me who is living in this world, doing and feeling human ‘stuff’ and whether that is all I am.
I wrote 3 papers on ‘who am I?’ – over a time period of 2 years – for said degree. Each time traumatic in different ways; and each time enlightening – bringing forth greater awareness and personal growth. Since those years ago, I have made time and space to consciously ask myself ‘who am I?’. The answer changes every time, as to be expected. I still surprise myself with the answer I receive, despite my greater awareness of Self. It is perhaps a testament of our evolving Self, that change is inevitable, and more important (to me at least) is the ‘I’ we choose not to see. Since then, I’m a little more knowledgeable and a little wiser, I hope 🙂
I have some answers to the many questions I’ve raised so far – and they apply to only me. I will not bore you with them. To be honest, as I said previously, I am a private person. Moreover, my answers are not relevant to you. Not matter what the theoretical or philosophical bases upon which you stand, the questions and the ultimate answers are yours to realise.
So I recommend this very personal task of asking yourself “who am I?”
Do it consciously, carve time and space to look deep within yourself. You owe yourself this much, and you definitely deserve to know the answer.
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