We often identify ourselves by what happened to us. Tough to admit isn’t it? But true in many ways. We all have our own opinions concerning what we deserve, who we attract and how we go about our lives. We make assumptions based on so-called truths we were taught as children
I recently read an article that has been on my mind for a few days. It was concerning who we believe ourselves to be. Much of the article was a little over the top for me in a new age kind of way, but the question stuck.
WHO AM I NOT?
I was once told by one of my counselors that the most difficult thing to do is look into the mirror and see yourself. This is especially difficult for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I was afraid to see who I really was. I was sure that I was not a very nice person. But, she helped me look. Who do you see? A child? An adult? A caring loving, thoughtful person?
Might it be easier for us to assemble a list of what we are not before building a list of who we are? Take a serious, inventory of who we are not. This is not to be confused with a list of things like I am not a doctor, lawyer, rich, poor etc….
I can start this to show you!
- I am not selfish
- I am not stupid
- I am not ugly
- I am not to short (My parents equated little with failure to thrive)
- I am not self-centered
Make the list as long as you like. Take days! Weeks! But get it all out. Then ask whose voice you heard in your head as you recited those negatives. I guarantee it is not your voice. For me it was my father, his friends and my mother. For you ….. only you can answer that.
The point is now you know who you are not, you will have a better chance of making a much more positive inventory of who you really are. You could have a trusted friend help you out. If you are in counseling you could talk about the possibilities there.
Who am I? This is ultimately the most important question we can ask.
For me, who am I? became who do I want to be?