We all have our standard responses to “Who are you?” But who is the person behind the title, the achievements, and the physical features? Who are you, really?
I recently read the book “In Love With The World – A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos Of Living and Dying” by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Helen Tworkov. In the book the authors describe Yongey Minguyr Rinpoche journey from living in a monastery to sneaking out and spending the next four years on a wandering retreat without a title and a role.
Early on in the story, the author found himself wondering about who he was, beyond titles (I am a monk), his name, his skills, and physical appearance. Asking himself numerous times, he tries to peel back the layers of his identity in an effort to figure out his essence.
Inspired by this story, I started to ask myself “Who am I, really?” I have to admit, it is not easy to answer. In the past, I made it easy for myself. Based on the situation, I would refer to an appropriate title such as professor, designer, or student. Starting to journal on this question, I was tempted to do the same and I feared running out of words. But, to my surprise, I didn’t. There are things that I forgot and took for granted that surfaced, and although I feel that I am at the beginning of this journey, I enjoyed peeling back the first layer.
Based on this experience, I can already tell you that this prompt is worth pondering about, as knowing who you are is the first step in finding what you want.
So, in case you want to challenge yourself, ask yourself:
Who am I, really?