BY SHEENA BLAKE
Do you know who you are? Like, if you were asked, could you answer without any doubt or question?
As a child, my father continuously asked us, my brothers and I, who we believed we were. It was years and years before we could really answer the question with any certainty in our voices. But now, in my fourth decade, I wonder if I actually know the answer to the question, or if there really is an answer to the question, at all.
The topic of today’s article is self knowledge and accepting its ever changing and consistent, albeit unconscious, stagnation.
The question, “who are you?”, is really quite loaded. It seems to depend on who is asking, what the time of day is and in what context it is asked. For my brothers and I, it was always our father, in the morning and within the context of our moral values.
But, as I got older and discovered other ways of defining myself, as most youth do, I realized that self knowledge was way deeper than I ever though it was. Knowing myself means more than what I believe to be right and wrong, good and bad, black and white. In fact, knowing myself had and has more to do with all of the stuff in between and how I really feel about it than it does with either of the polarities.
I also began learning that my feelings are important to who I think I am. This concept may seem strange but follow me. If I feel like I am not good enough, then my concept of myself is warped into that feeling. Therefore, who I am is wrapped up into this ‘not-good-enough-pattern’. It must be noted that it is probably something that one would not say aloud, but he/she would act out in various ways like quitting before trying, or not joining functions, or always having negative comments to share.
Conversely, if I feel that I am good enough, worthy and prepared for anything, my concept of myself is warped into that feeling, as well.
But, here’s the thing; OUR FEELINGS ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING. We don’t always feel like everything is beautiful, and we don’t always feel like everything is awful. So, how then, can we maintain a consistency who we are.
The real answer is, we can’t. But, what we can do is trust our feelings and have good friends around who love and support us and know the sides of us that we don’t even recognize. They can remind us about who we are (from their perspective).
So, who am I? The answer is filled with cliché adjectives and joyful thoughts, today. But, overall, I’m learning that who I am is ever growing, ever changing and constantly staying the same. There is all the reason in the world to keep searching, keep learning, keep loving. There is all the reason in the world to accept and not negotiate what today looks like.
Who are you?