“He is who he is because he is. She is who she is because she is. They are who they are because they are. I am who I am because I am.”
I think – I always think, like a magnet for rumination – that I have the inclination to worry about what others think of me and/or say about me because I am also easily tempted to judge and criticize. Although I strive to consistently improve, I don’t know how many times during the day I need to reprimand myself for the bad thoughts. I need to remind myself that I have no right to judge anyone and therefore I should refrain from doing so. A very good friend of mine used to make me repeat the following words (because I was just too stubborn): “He is who he is because he is. She is who she is because she is. They are who they are because they are. I am who I am because I am.” I tend to be forgetful. But, I do remember the part that says, “I am who I am because I am” when I am being my control- freak self.
One of the girls in my old circle of friends had a habit of criticizing just about everything and everyone. It bothered me. I didn’t realize then that her need to do so was instrumental to her learning to accept herself without comparing her to others. As for me, it bugged me because I had not fully grasped the concept of people being the way they are because they are. In the same way, I was being critical and judgmental of her, too.
We make a conscious decision to be who we want to be and not who others – family and friends included – would like us to be.
Our upbringing and environment may have had influence on the adults that we have become but the past does not necessarily define the present. There is no benefit in dragging along with us our less-than-unpleasant childhood to our adulthood. We make a conscious decision to be who we want to be and not who others – family and friends included – would like us to be. We choose to be our real selves. In his book, ‘Why am I afraid to tell you who I am’, John Powell (S.J.) writes: “If you knew me yesterday, please do not think that it is the same person that you are meeting today.” And, no, I don’t believe that he was not talking about having a mask. It is in fact about removing the masks we wear. We are capable of growing to be better, not moving away from authenticity but becoming our authentic selves again.
When we were born, we were as authentic as we can be. We had no prejudices, we didn’t know stereotyping and we had no fears from experiences. We were our authentic spirits. Then, we find ourselves in the home of our family. Our parents taught us how to walk and talk. We learned to play games. We were told stories passed down from generation to generation. Our older siblings also recounted to us some of their own stories. Then, we were sent to our parents’ church and taught the values and beliefs of that certain faith. Therefore, we learned our rights and wrongs from our families until we were ready for school where we learned more. We gained knowledge of new things from our friends. We were faced with the reality of “in” crowd and outcast. The process continued until adulthood.
Being in the active process of rediscovering our authentic selves means that there is a huge possibility that we will be different people today from who we were a month or even a week ago.
Thus, the undertaking of uncovering our authentic selves is onerous albeit not impossible. We reverse the procedure by removing the layers a little at a time. Being in the active process of rediscovering our authentic selves means that there is a huge possibility that we will be different people today from who we were a month or even a week ago. And, as I don’t believe that perfection exists in this life, the process continues until the end of my days. After all, I am human and there are times when I fall out of authenticity. The important thing is to know when it happens, to acknowledge when it happens, so I may pick myself up and go back to the right path.
Relationships work regardless of differences and changes brought about by growth as long as both parties remember that they are different people who are both on a journey called life where they learn their lessons. More importantly, differences are not reasons to judge each other or call each other names. I don’t think that we deliberately cause pain, agony and disappointment in others.
We are who we are because we are! And we are good people, naturally.