The Question We All Ask…Who Am I?

The Question We All Ask…Who Am I?

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In a recent Facebook post, I asked the following question. “What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned?”

One of the answers I got was this…

“Don’t let a job or title define who you are. If you do, and you lose the job, then you lose a part of your identity. If you are no longer something, then what are you?”

“Who am I” is a question that most people ask at some point in their lives.

That’s because we spend years defining ourselves, seeking an identity by what we do or what we like. We try to find this through our careers, families, social circles, achievements, and even retirement goals.   But at some point, everything in life changes.

Careers change. Relationships end. Children come…and then go. Retirement becomes a reality. And eventually, people die.

That leaves us with a raw and sometimes extremely painful question. If we take away these thoughts, ideas and beliefs, what is left?

I know this is a scary concept. It is for all of us. But there is a clear answer.  And that answer is this…

Awareness is left. Put simply, awareness is what we experienced as infants and toddlers. In mindfulness, we call this “beginner’s mind.”

Awareness is a state that is free of ideas and points of view. It’s the ability to see the world with wonder and awe. With curiosity and joy.

This release is the ultimate example of being fully present in the moment. There are no philosophies, notions or mindsets between reality and us. We see that there is no need to define ourselves or figure out who just we are.

It is really quite freeing. We don’t need to accomplish anything or be satisfied or dissatisfied with ourselves. All we have to do is just be. Moment-by-moment and breath-by-breath.

Think about it like this…

We aren’t what we do or don’t do, where we belong or don’t belong. We are so much more.

In mindful awareness, the sense of self drops away. With this, the sense of being separate falls away too. As a result, we see a powerful connection between us and the world.

We see that we are connected in a very real way to everything. This powerful connection transforms our view of the world. We see that we are not alone trying to survive. Instead, we are part of the vibrant cycle of life in a beautiful and constantly changing universe.

Now that is truly amazing.

Sure, things change. But that doesn’t mean that we are any more or less than what we were. Because we simply ARE.

In closing this post, I want you to consider two questions. First, how have you defined yourself? And second, how has this held you back?

To your mindfulness,

Dr. Marchand




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