Who am I?
I find this question being asked of me quite often. Whether it be by someone else or myself.
I repeat the question in my own head, “Who am I?”
Some days I read into it way too much. Somedays I don’t read into it enough.
I am a child of God. I am a follower of Christ. I am a believer in the Holy Spirit. I am a writer. I am a yogi. I am an athlete. I am a photographer. I am a victim of chronic Lyme disease. I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I am a fighter. I am a strong girl. I am a hard worker. I am a motivated person. I am an intelligent student. I am a coffee lover. I am a tea drinker. I am gluten-free. I am dairy free. I am a hunting girl. I am a dog lover. I am compassionate. I am fierce. I am loved. I am an observer. I am faithful. I am me.
I acknowledge myself for who I am now, for what I’ve accomplished up until this point, and for where I’ve been. I will not beat myself up for what I’ve given up on, for the tasks I’ve failed to complete, or for where I have not pushed myself hard enough.
I don’t know if there ever will be a concrete answer to this question, but I do know that it will be a constant and persistent chase. Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar speech from 2014 is something that needs to be shared.
Do we ever truly know who we are? Do we ever have an exact plan? Do we ever really know what’s going to come next? Do we fall into the trap of ‘needing to know’ too often?
Ask yourself these questions: Are you accepting who you are now? Do you embrace what you’ve created? Can you love yourself for where you are today?
(If your answer is yes to all three, then you can stop reading now.)
If your answer is kind of, or no, or maybe, then you may want to consider the rest of what I have to say.
These questions are hard. The answer may constantly be changing. Accepting who you are now might be tricky if you’re not where you thought you’d be. Embracing what you’ve created might be hard if you don’t think you’ve created anything. Loving yourself may be seemingly impossible if you think you haven’t made a difference where you’ve been.
Here’s what I think we all need to do to accept, embrace and love ourselves.
- Listen – Listen to your heart, to your head, to your friends, to your family, to strangers. We don’t always have to listen to everything all at once, and we don’t have to listen to everything that everyone says. But, things that people say, things that our hearts and heads tell us, are important. Whether it be enlightening, constructive, helpful or downright critical, use it. Accept the thought, embrace what it means to you (if anything), and love yourself for getting through that confrontation.
- Friends and family often praise us for what we’ve done. If you’re anything like me, I feel self-conscious when someone tells me that they’re proud of me. I don’t always know how to respond, and I don’t always know if they’re speaking out of pity or if they’re being honest. Despite their intention, I take their comment and I use it. If I’m feeling down on myself, their comment is like a pick-me-up; if I’m feeling good about myself, I’ll use their comment as motivation to continue what I’m doing.
- Find balance – I don’t necessarily mean physical balance like balancing on one foot. I mean balance in your life. Find the balance between listening to your heart and head, between how much you listen to and how much you brush off, between who you listen to and who you don’t. Finding this balance will help you accept who you are, embrace what you’ve created, and love yourself for where you’ve been and where you are.
- Seek – Seek what you feel you’re missing. Have no shame, don’t be hesitant, forget about being embarrassed. It’s hard to accept, embrace and love yourself if you feel lost or empty. Think about what you feel is missing from you. Are all of the people in your life supportive and encouraging? Are all of the decisions you’re making positive and beneficial? Are your actions caring and helpful? Are your words uplifting and loving? What is it that you feel is missing? Seek out your heart’s desires and your head’s needs. Pursue what you’re longing for.
- Have faith – “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~ Christopher Robin. A little faith never hurt nobody. Asking yourself who you are can be overwhelming and confusing; you may be taken back by the lack of ‘things’ that you are, or you’re in shock at the number of things you identify yourself with. Nonetheless, you may feel like you’re drowning. Throw your emotions aside and have faith. Have faith in who you are and who you will become. Have faith that God created you without hesitation and without mistakes. Have faith in God that you are you for a greater purpose than you will ever understand. You do not need to over-analyze who you are and who you aren’t. You are unique and purposeful. Have a little faith to accept yourself, embrace what you’ve created, and love where you are.
- Have gratitude – Do you blame yourself or someone else for mistakes or incomplete tasks? Do you accuse before you praise? Yeah, I do too. We are human. But, we can be better humans if we have gratitude. Be grateful for the opportunity, even if you screw it up. Show gratitude towards someone’s action of kindness, even if you have to fix a few things. When you have gratitude at the center of your reactions and intentions, you show love to yourself and to others; it is easier to accept what was done ‘wrong’ and move on; and it’s more manageable to embrace your position.
- Be gracious – Be gracious in all actions. Be intentional with the power of grace. Life gets harsh and confusing, we get frustrated and concerned. Can you move on to the next thing in your life if you’re still dwelling on what was? See grace in what was, what is and what will be. God’s grace is all-powerful; aspire to be what He shows. Accepting who you are requires a bit of grace; embracing what you’ve created starts with being gracious; being gracious toward yourself will allow you to love yourself as you are. Be gracious.
Now ask yourself: Are you accepting who you are now? Do you embrace what you’ve created? Can you love yourself for where you are?
God created us in His image, with purpose, and with intention. You are you for a unique reason. Who are you? Who am I? Really.
Life needs to be lived. Wholly and completely. Life needs flexibility and faith. Always and consistently. Life needs risks and challenges. Now and forever.
Be kind to yourself, because you, body, mind and spirit, are always changing. Whatever you identify yourself with, whatever you call yourself, whatever you think you are, you are you. If you change your career, that makes you, you. If you change the way you see life, that makes you, you. If you take up a new hobby, that makes you, you. Your journey through life, physically, emotionally and spiritually makes you, you.
Accept who you are now, who you were then, and who you will be soon. Embrace what you’ve created today, yesterday and tomorrow. Love yourself for where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’ll go.
Focus on who you are; embrace who you are, accept what you are, love who you’ve become.
“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”