If your happiness depends on something you can lose, you will spend your entire life afraid of losing it.
But if your happiness depends on who you are, then everything and everyone in your life can come or go (as they naturally would anyway), and not only would you no longer live in fear of losing anything, you would never feel like you have lost “everything” when you do. The important question to answer, therefore, is who are you? And can you answer that question without describing aspects of your life that can be lost at any moment like a job title, relationship status, wealth, health, youth, etc.?
We spend so much time sculpting the outward expression of who we are (our “bios”), but what if all of those things were somehow taken from us (family members, photographs, all records of educational achievements, credit score, citizenship, home, and even our names); what would be left?
That’s who you are. That’s your essence. And it’s constantly growing and evolving.
This is why I think we must get to know WHO we are instead of WHAT we are. How do we do that? Easy: every single life experience is an opportunity for us to define who we are in relation to what is happening. Not to judge it as “good” or “bad,” but to decide, right there and then, who we want to be in that moment.
Who am I? Well, you’ve heard me say that I am not what has happened in my life nor what I have done; I am who I choose to become today. As difficult as it may sound to leave identities behind after having them for so long, it’s much more difficult to carry them with us if they no longer serve their purpose or even work against us. An identity crisis is exactly that: we find ourselves no longer fitting into the mold in which we were raised, for example.
Sometimes, who we truly are clashes with who we thought we were. That’s why the solution is for us to be at peace with ourselves about who we are without any labels. Then life is significantly less complicated; we simply accept each moment as an invitation for our real selves to show up.
Can you imagine if we didn’t worry about social constructs and, instead, just paused, looked at a situation, and asked ourselves Who do I want to be in relation to what is happening regardless of who others expect me to be, who I’ve been up until this moment, how this may “look,” or how foreign and scary it feels outside of my comfort zone?
We might just see who we really are; perhaps for the first time. We wouldn’t live in fear of losing anything because nobody can take that away from us.
If your happiness depends on something you can lose, you will spend your entire life afraid of losing it. My happiness depends on who I am.
Who are you?