Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Identity: Dr. Who?

Here's a question:

What defines you? What makes you exactly who you are and different to everyone else?

How do you think of yourself? How would you introduce yourself to someone new?

What words would another person use to describe you? Someone who knows you well and someone who was a casual friend?

What aspects of your personality shine through for all to see, and are they the aspects for which you would like to be remembered?

When people think of you do they consider your integrity? your kindness? your creativity in whatever medium you like to use? are you the sort of person other people turn to when they want a job done and done well? are you a prop or the propped?

When they leave you do people feel encouraged? uplifted? exhausted with laughing? or worn tho a thread from your neediness? do they enjoy your company and remember you with thanksgiving? do they feel they matter to you- do they want to matter to you?

Are you the sum of your life experiences? Are you marching to an off-beat or going against the flow? Are you a Quilter? an Evangelist? an Accountant? a Teacher? a Musician? Or is what you do for a living not actually who you consider yourself to be?

Do people actually see you when they are with you or do you fade behind titles such as 'wife', 'mother', 'gran' 'secretary', 'teacher', 'so'n'so's friend', or (worst of all) 'well-meaning...but'? Do people look at you and not actually see you at all, or see a reflection of themselves which they think you complement?

And then, if you were stripped of your labels, titles, job, destination, possessions, all the things which, intentionally or otherwise, have come to define you- what would be left? Would you like the naked soul you met in the deep dark night of despair? or would you be horrified to discover you had become something unpleasant whilst you were looking the other way and getting on with your life?

When you stop and look do you see someone you actually like? or do you see someone who has fallen so far short of their own dreams, ideals, hopes, ethics, beliefs, aspirations, that it feels as though you are meeting a stranger, and not one you really wish to spend much time with?

Does it matter that you have arrived somewhere you never intended to go? Does it matter that people look at you and see someone you never intended to be? Does it matter that you have lost who you thought you were and are having to start over again?

Which is more important- that you try to live rightly by the light of your choice? or keep others happy at the loss of yourself? is there a mid-way?

Everyone wrestles with themselves at some time, or at many times, is it a waste of energy or do we learn from such times of self-doubt?

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

So when you look to yourself in a quiet moment do you recognise yourself?

PS. And does it matter?


Terri Tiffany said...

So many questions! I have to ask, are you asking all of these to yourself or just throwing them out there?I was stripped of my roles a few years ago. I am still a mom and wife but not a counselor, or store owner or Realtor or social worker. It's hard saying I'm a writer so I don't most of the time.I like being me --a person I hope that others will like and feel lifted up from being around. So what answer did you come up with?

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

And there was me thinking I'll just read your post before I go to sleep! So the considered reply will have to wait, and I hope I can sleep instead of pondering the questions you've posed - you've pretty much covered life, the universe snd everything

Amanda said...

I know the labels I have and the jobs I do, but as to who I am I'm not at all certain. Am I reflected by my wardrobe? I don't think so, since some days I want to be elegant like my mother, other days I want to indulge my hippiness, other days I'm happy just to be comfortable and most of the time I end up in jeans and a jumper 'just because'. And other people seem to see a very different person than I do. And I'm still waiting to feel 'grown up' and to have the confidence I see in other people. Your question 'How would other people describe you?' really flummoxed me; I really don't know. Do they see something I don't? This was a thought provoking post.

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

One of my very favourite quotes - one that I have strived to live by for a good few years now. And a great post, that gets right to the heart of living authentically and being true to oneself.


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