Who Are You?

One of life’s greatest treasures is a friend who helps you understand yourself. He or she is a truly kind person who loves to sit with you in silence and sometimes likes to engage in mind expanding dialogue with you. Sometimes this friend will take you by the hand and encourage you to meet yourself along the path of life.

This friend could be your best pal, your spouse, a lover, a parent, or sibling, or none of them. Perhaps, the friend who helps you understand yourself is you, yourself.

This friend asks the questions you don’t want to answer or answers the questions you’re reluctant to ask. The inquiry comes from an authentically loving person who is not asking or answering in order to push your buttons to demean you. This friend’s most important question is, “Who are you?”

This question is not answered by the response you supply on an official document or form. The querent already knows your name, your occupation, and personal relationship status. This person is already familiar with your quirks, your likes, and aversions. This friend knows whether or not you like sports, murder mystery novels, Picasso, or pickle relish in your potato salad.

This friend enjoys a Sunday afternoon spent indoors engaged in philosophical conversation. She or he loves to keep you company late at night when stormy weather triggers your fears. If you have such a friend, you can thank your lucky stars. If you don’t yet know someone else like this, you can be that friend to yourself.

To answer “Who are you? is to engage in self-appraisal and then to go beyond that. You can ask yourself that question as you ease along a nature trail on a quiet morning, or in the evening as you take in a colorful sunset.

To honestly answer the question might take several sessions. It takes time to think about the subjects you think about, how you think, and why you think about such subjects. Hints to the answers can be found in the opinions you publicly express about politics, religion, and other people. Are you honestly willing to examine those beliefs? What would your life be like if you discarded those beliefs? How would your relationship to humanity change if you did not possess those beliefs?

The friend is not asking you to jettison your beliefs. That friend is simply asking for honesty and compassion for you and everyone concerned. We tend to resist asking and answering the question, “Who are you?” because to answer the question truthfully can reveal some harsh truths about who we really are.

When we honestly wish to know who we are, we are the sort of people who want to be the best people we can be. If we are willing to earnestly ask the question, we can congratulate ourselves for our courageous minds. We can be thankful that we’re not happy to settle for the status quo. We soon realize that we do not ask, “Who are you?” once and that’s all. It is a question that is asked from time to time as we experience the continuum of life.

There is a big trap we set for ourselves. That is the tendency we have to fool ourselves about the most basic assets and liabilities we possess. We are either too harsh or too lenient in our self-assessments. The way around this trap is to compassionately but truthfully answer the question. Write the aspects down in your journal or on a sheet of paper. List the good and the bad. Make a note of the pretty and the ugly.

To have your deepest self answer the question, “Who are you?” is to embark upon the greatest journey of your life. The fuel for your travels are honesty and kindness.

The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders this thought from the philosopher and mathematician Pythagorus: “No one is free who has not obtained the empire of himself. No man is free who cannot command himself.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Friendship, Health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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