Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

“Who Are You?”

Not to get all Freudian or something, but i constantly continue to meet  people who are struggling to understand themselves better. So I am bringing it up again.

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It seems that people may not be able to personally define who they are perhaps. They have a lot of friends, family and lovers (past and present), around them who are more than willing to tell them how they define them.

But the reality is:  if you could not ask the people around you…how would you define yourself?

Easy to put on different costumes and personalities to show to others, through different phases of a relationship with someone, different pieces of the “real you”  may not be immediately exposed.

Asking the question “Who do you believe you are?” without parroting back what others say you are is hard to do and seems to require inner inspection. Are you the same person inside as you appear to others?  So easy at first to say “yes”- but the last person you should lie to is yourself and it is easy to do ( at least I can say that personally in a truthful way).

So go ahead…ask yourself who you are. Be honest. Are you a singer, a lover of horses, a follower of sports? Labels.

Are you someone who thrives on interaction, or just likes interaction to validate who you are… letting that define the real you.

Deeper, who are you spiritually? Sure there are labels: a scientist, a teacher, a lover, a friend. That’s easy to do… just add it to your Facebook profile already… but who are you when the world and others don’t label you.

Worse yet, once you think you know who you are– try comparing that to how others see you.

Some of my closest friends have lost marriages, significant family relationships and friendships because they realized that they were  trying to become someone they weren’t ever going to be, or worse yet were trying desperately to fit into something someone else wanted them to be.  We always evolve from the foundation of who we are- but before you can really grow- you need to know what that foundation consists of.

I sound like a bunch of songs from the Who (queue “Who Are You” or “The Real Me“) or like the dozens of philosophers from my college classes.  Seems like we are always in need of introspection.

My advice to my kids:

In this busy world – with constant input coming from so many different places- with almost instant feedback [more than any other time before in history], we need to be sure our first definition of ourselves is ours.

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