Every so often, we hear people saying, “This is what I am” or “This is who I am.”
But is this really the case, or is it merely that those people are saying; “This is what I think I am” or “This is who I think I am”?
And when people say they are: murderers, or doctors, or drug lords, or preachers or lonely people, or angry people, or prostitutes, or Christians, or reincarnated, or jealous people, or Jewish, or clever, or stupid, or models, or artists, or musicians, or religious, or strict, or kind, or loving, or sexy, or good, or bad . . . what are they referring to?
We openly state, by example, that our car defines us—say we have a “super” car, or the best super car that exists, or even several super cars—we’re saying that the car says who we are. We even say that we could never say in words what the car says about us. What exactly is meant when our car is required to provide meaning, or to prove meaning, or to show meaning, or to define us? Why is the car needed to define us? Why is the car needed to make the statement for us on our behalf?
When we say the aforementioned things about ourselves, are we, in some cases, merely referring to some behavioral trait we have? In other cases, are we not merely referring to personality attributes? In still other cases, are we not merely referring to our need to please,
impress or conform to some crutch-like organization that we are members of or that we subscribe to?
It seems likely we don’t know what we’re really saying when we say, “This is what I am” or “This is who I am.” For good measure, sometimes something else is added to the statement: “. . . and I can do nothing about it.”
Whenever you hear these statements, or even say them yourself, why not take a moment to reflect on it and explore where the statement comes from or why the statement is being made? And while exploring it, why not reflect upon and explore your essence?
Look at a rose or a tree. It’s highly unlikely that they need to say what or who they are. It is clear to see and experience their beauty, and to stand in wonderment of their existence. Why not so with the human species? Why is it necessary for us to say what or who we are?
When we prepare a cob of corn for dinner, do we ever consider its wonderment, and that we recognize this without it needing to say anything about itself? Do we ever consider its role in our lives? Do we ever think what the cob of corn gets in return for its role in our lives? It is highly unlikely that we give the life of a cob of corn a second thought.
Are you and I anything more than a seemingly insignificant cob of corn? Why is it that we most likely think we’re different from a cob of corn in the sense of being “worth more”? As the cob of corn is part of a cycle, are we not similarly part of a cycle?
Could it be that we have these thoughts or such an understanding of ourselves because being “equal” to a cob of corn is just too much to grasp or understand or accept?
This can also be turned around.
Let’s look at the sun. It is mighty and plays a mighty role in many, many lives. Are we any different from it? Or say, the majestic Table Mountain, which is near the lowest tip of Africa where I live. Are we any different from that place, in that we’re also capable of playing a role in another person’s life to the extent of the cob, the sun, or Table Mountain?
You might frown on this and feel it’s certainly not possible—that your life, or any human’s life, can’t be that significant or that mighty—but is it indeed possible that our lives are exactly like that?
And, cutting it another way: Is the reason we can’t accept this because we, unlike the ear of corn, the sun, or the mountain, expect something in return; we expect a reward or acknowledgement for living our lives?
And in the event that we do expect something in return or expect acknowledgement, then what does that mean? Might it mean that with the reward or the acknowledgement, we feel worthy, and therefore that’s why we do what we do—the converse being that unless rewarded or acknowledged, we feel unworthy?
To grasp this dynamic, you’d need to let go of everything you’ve been taught and everything you believe in. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible to see the relationship between being rewarded, being acknowledged, and feeling worthy.
Let’s take businesspeople. They wouldn’t be in business if it weren’t for the reward or the acknowledgement provided indirectly by the financial reward. How far is that removed from what a cob of corn, the sun or Table Mountain provides to us without wanting reward or acknowledgement?
Quite possibly, you might feel that surely you aren’t comparable with a cob of corn, the sun or Table Mountain. But are we indeed not—or is it merely a perception that we are different?
Is it at all possible to have the courage to remove ourselves far enough from our current “perceived reality” to speculate that our species could indeed flourish if we were able to put ourselves in the same light as the rest of nature and lose our desire for rewards or acknowledgement for simply living our lives?
If we can’t, then perhaps it begs the question: Why can’t we live our lives without wanting reward or acknowledgement?
What does reward or acknowledgement mean to you? Do you, perhaps, derive self-worth from being rewarded or acknowledged?
Or is it that when you or I obtain certain rewards or acknowledgements, we invariably want more and more, and more, and more? Is it possible that no amount of reward or acknowledgement we want, or get, satisfies us? When we look at this dynamic very carefully, we
might notice that we can never find anything outside of ourselves that could fill a void that exists inside us.
Why is it that nothing outside of ourselves can possibly define us? Is it possible that everything you and I require to be ourselves and to flourish is already there inside of us, just waiting to be uncovered? Babies don’t need the things we perceive we need. Is it possible that we, the caretakers of children, force from their lives their states of not needing to be rewarded and not needing to be acknowledged? Thus, if we were to guide them and support them for their own sake, so they, and all of us from the time when we were children ourselves, might grow up without needing to be rewarded and not needing acknowledgement—that is, accepting that we are merely ourselves for our own sake?
So then, is our present system of needing rewards and acknowledgements conducive to our well-being? And when we say, “This is who I am” or “This is what I am,” are we really only speaking of a perception we have of ourselves?
And is it possible that you and I, and most of the people walking Planet Earth, actually haven’t yet seen, or encountered, or uncovered “what or who” we really are?