My dad has a few saying that have stuck with us, his 9 children. As I’ve gotten older, the meaning of the sayings have morphed but remain just as true and powerful. One of the sayings is “Remember who you are.”
But who am I? Who are you?
It seems like a simple question.
When asked this question, you may respond with something like: “My name is Betty. I am 40 years old.”
And you aren’t wrong.
But is that WHO you are? Think about it. If your parents gave you a different name, would you still be you? And were you not you at 39 years old? 19? 2? Were you not you at all those ages?Will you not be you at 45? So ‘40 years old’ is not who you really are.
You might say, “Okay, well, I was born in Timbuktu and went to school at ABC High. I am married. I have 2 kids and 2 dogs.”
Again, you aren’t wrong, but is that WHO you are? If you were born in a different town and you went to a different school, would you still be you? What if you didn’t get married or if you were widowed, would you still be you? If you had 1 kid and 1 cat, would you still be you?
“I have 2 legs and I like to run.”
Would you be you is you lost your legs?
“Okay,” you say, “I am tall. I am kind, generous, and strong.”
Again, you aren’t wrong, but is that WHO you are? If you were the only person in the universe, you wouldn’t know if you were tall, kind, generous, or strong because you wouldn’t have anyone to compare yourself to. If there was no one that was shorter than you, how would you know if you were ‘tall’? If there was no one that was ‘unkind’, how would you know if you were ‘kind’? If you were alone in this universe, would you still be you?
Your name, age, situation, status, physical ability, and characteristics can all change but you are still you.
So, as you can see, the question “who are you?” is really not as simple as you may have originally thought. Actually, this question has been the topic of conversation and contemplation for philosophers and deep thinkers of all kinds for many years.
So, who are you, really?
You are the observer of your existence. You are the one aware that your name is Betty. You are aware that you are 40 years old, or 19, or 2. You are the awareness of your story- that you were born in Timbuktu, went to ABC High, that you are married and have 2 kids and 2 dogs. You are aware that you “wear the label” or identify yourself as being kind, generous, and strong.
You, the observer, is the constant thread in your life. No matter your age; no matter your past; no matter your situation; or marital or parental status; no matter your physical abilities; no matter if you are alone or not, you are always you - awareness, consciousness, the observer of your existence.
When you remember who YOU are, you feel more authentically you. You live in alignment with who you truly are, allowing life to happen and not wrestling, struggling and resisting life. You experience more self-compassion and acceptance, less judgement and defensiveness. You experience less stress, more happiness, more peace of mind, more flow, more Truth, more ‘oneness’, and more love.
Remember who you are.
Thank you, Dad.
Here’s to conquering stress.
See more wisdom from my dad, here.
The Stress Experts
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