.I have spent a lot of time over the years, contemplating who I am; assuming that if I could just come up with all the correct labels, I would feel comfortable in every situation, I would never feel out of place, I would be whole and fulfilled, I would handle every situation with true grace and authenticity and I would be happy and balanced.
Most people would say that I am most of these things much of the time, but I worried that maybe I wasn’t being real… maybe I was just faking it, wearing a façade.
I struggled with this, because in any given situation, on any given day, a label I felt fit me so well yesterday, no longer seemed to fit. Or, I found myself trying to identify with a label that fit me 20 years ago, without realizing I have changed so much since then, that those labels are no longer true. (that realization was a gift I found through journaling)
Some might call me an ambivert, someone balanced between extrovert and introvert…which of course is just another way of labeling myself! However, that term itself is a weird label, because the definition is 2 opposing labels. So if I’m feeling introverted and I wish to just smile and nod vs getting into a long discussion on something I disagree with you about, am I just wearing a façade or am I being my authentic self? Is my introvert side allowed to feel that my opinions are none of your business or is that being non-authentic to my extrovert side? Yes, my mind can over think things for sure!
So I question and I search and I journal and I contemplate…but still struggle with how to balance being authentic and unique with fitting into my surroundings, pushing through fear or anger or sadness vs being comfortable, smiling at the innocent stranger even when I’m irritated by something, etc? I feel like I can never quite find the correct labels that my analytical side desires in order to figure out who I really am.
If my mind considers all of these things, I have to assume other people occasionally have similar thoughts (it’s not just me, right?). So, let me share a little gift with you that I recently found. It may just change your life…
I recently read and then immediately re-read, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth- Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. In that book I found so many nuggets of wisdom; but my all-time favorite, the one that changed the way I think of “who am i?” is below. Enjoy.
The mind will come in and say “Let’s see. How can I be myself?” Then, the mind will develop some kind of strategy: “How to be myself”. Another role. “How can I be myself?” is, in fact, the wrong question. It implies you have to do something to be yourself. But how doesn’t apply here because you are already yourself. Just stop adding unnecessary baggage to who you already are. “But I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what it means to be myself.” If you can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who you are, then what’s left is who you are – the Being behind the human, a field of pure potential, rather than something that is already defined.”
Take a minute to soak that in… be comfortable with not knowing who you are, and what is left is indeed, who you are. Brilliant.
Since reading this, I’m doing my best to stop labeling myself. I am not worrying if I’m being authentic vs living in façade. When I stop trying to be authentic, that’s exactly who I am… my most unique and authentic self.
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.