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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Who are you?

I am Brian. That's it, really, just Brian. Sure, I do things; I make a living, I help people, I enjoy sunsets, and even though I really don't like tomatoes, I enjoy tomato soup. But I am not any of those things by themselves. I am a beautiful combination of those, and so many other things. But what I'm not, is my reputation, my job, my possessions, my status, or my bank account. Yet for so many, their identities are so far blended with those things, who they really are gets lost. While travelling this week, someone asked me what I do for a living, and it struck me. He didn't ask me "Who are you." My answer was simple: "I help people", I responded. But when I am not helping people, I am just Brian. I am on my path, I am learning, I am growing, and sometimes, I'm all of those, and sometimes, I'm not any of those. But people, in general, believe that what they "do for a living", is actually who they are. It is their identity, and without it they would be lost.

What this means is that the Wall Street hotshot will be nothing should he lose his Wall Street job. That is who he thinks he is. And when he is at his fancy parties, with his rich friends, his ego is thriving on the idea of "Look at me! I'm somebody." His status and his "self" are one. But when he's making dinner for his wife at home, is he a Wall Street hotshot? Or is he a loving husband making his wife dinner? There's a good chance that he truly believes that his wife would not be with him if he would ever not be a Wall Street hotshot. Because he truly believes that what he does for a living is who he is. And if he is truly a Wall Street hotshot, who was he before he reached that point? Was he nobody? Did he not exist? Remember, you are not your reputation, you are not your things, your possessions, your status, or your job. You are just you. The reason this is important to realize, is that when you tie who you are to something other than your self, then you will find unhappiness when things are not going well with whatever you tie your identity to. If it is a job, then you will be lost when that job goes bad. If it's a relationship with someone, then you will be lost when that relationship hits tough times or ends. You are simply "you", nothing more, nothing less. Yes, you may have a job, a relationship, money, or even status, but that is not who you are internally. When you connect yourself with something external, you lead yourself away from your internal. And when we are not centered internally, we find pain, confusion, stress, and despair.

Do not let external forces determine your internal peace. You are you no matter where you go, what you do, or who you do it with. Get to know that person. Love that person whole heartedly. Do not connect who that person is with anything, because it's just a lie. You can only be YOU. So start finding out who you are, underneath all that external stuff you've thrown on top of yourself. Examine yourself. Find your strengths and your weaknesses, and learn to love them both. Do not look to other things for what you can fill from within yourself.

And now that I'm done writing this blog entry, I am again, just Brian


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