Who am I?
In her latest novel, Inheritance, Author Dani Shapiro tells a story of an acupuncturist asking her if she knew "the three great spiritual questions."
The questions are:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
How shall I live?
Her book is a memoir telling of her identity crisis when a genetic test indicates that her deceased father is not her biological father. It is a beautiful book of finding herself and her biological father. But, these three questions caught my eye, because I talk with people every day who are searching for these big existential answers.
For the next three weeks, I'm going to give you some tools to begin to answer these questions in your own life.
This week: Who am I?
Who am I?
Here are some things to think about as you ponder this question:
Are you a human, a body, a spiritual being, a child of God?
Are you a professional title?
Are you the roles you play to those you love?
Are you what others want you to be?
Are you fulfilling a dream?
Are you a survivor?
Are you a creative?
Are you a soul?
Are you what you want to be?
Are you growing and learning?
Are you becoming who you long to be?
Are you fighting for something?
Are you seeking?
Are you content?
Are you kind?
Are you connected?
Are you compassionate?
Are you love?
Place your name in the middle of a blank piece of paper and write the answers to these questions as the thoughts come to you. Allow the thoughts to flow freely without judgment, just observe all of the complexity that makes up You.
Then summarize your findings into a statement that begins with "I am...."
When you feel lost or out of alignment, return to this statement as a reminder of your core identity and essence of who you are right now. Revisit these questions periodically, our identity continues to evolve as we age and encounter new experiences.
Gaining clarity around your core identity can help you overcome fear in times when you are full of self-doubt.
Phrases I often say to myself to remember who I am in hopes of finding courage are:
I am a child of God. I am a loving soul. I am having a human experience which means learning from mistakes. I am a mother, wife, and daughter while also being a teacher of love and compassion. I am doing my best. I am connected to God.
Sometimes I run through the whole list, sometimes I just need one of these phrases to regain perspective and find courage. For years, I had placed my identity in meeting the expectations of other people rather than feeling like I knew who I was inside. Finding the essence of who I think I am has allowed me to be more authentic, vulnerable, and confident. I wish this for all of us.
If you struggle with this exercise, click the button below and I will help you peel back the layers to find the You inside. You are a soul having a human experience, you might just need some reminding of that. You are loving, lovable, and loved!