Who are you?
Have you ever asked yourself that question? I’m pretty sure most people have at one time or another.
Some people tend to rephrase by asking it a different way. They ask, what am I doing here?
There does seem to me to be a connection and answering one may lead you to the answer for the other.
A long time ago I chose to participate in an exercise of self-discovery, where I posed a simple question, “who am I?”
I challenged myself to provide 100 answers to see what would happen.
If you want to try this for yourself, you may want to stop reading now and come back after your list is completed.
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to do this exercise now and would prefer to live vicariously through me, please feel free to continue reading.
Since it had been years since I’d done this, I decided to repeat the process. I opened a notebook and listed numbers down the left side, starting with 1 and ending at 100, then began writing whatever came to me.
I found that my answers came in spurts. I’d list all of the relationships I could think of; I am a husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, nephew, cousin, friend… until I ran dry.
Nothing would come immediately, then other answers would jump out, having to do with my interests, talents and skills. Things like; I am a driver, bill payer, artist, writer, speaker, football fan, painter, dishwasher, swimmer, drip castle maker… the list grew considerably.
I’m not saying I’m good at all of the things “I am…”, but, I am them. A lot of them.
The breadth of my answers surprised me. Hobbies, things I do at church, help I provide my family, things my wife and I do while traveling. A very diverse list began to appear.
Despite the breadth, I was still far short of the one hundred answers I hoped to find. So, I dug deeper and began listing all of the attributes I believe I possess; I am loving, caring, valuable, a dreamer, thinker, conversationalist, reader, sleuth, happy…
Even adding all of my attributes I needed a few more. I thought about all of my spiritual experiences and answers came, like; I am a retreat leader, healer, message giver, website post writer, energy worker…
And what about the obvious, yes…I am human.
Finally, I completed my whole list. It wasn’t without a lot of struggle and not for the ‘faint of heart’ because of the challenges it presented. But, it was a beautiful opportunity to look within and reveal things to myself.
I discovered that “I am…” far more than I initially thought and many of my answers show how deeply I am connected to others in this world. And, it made me want to stay connected. In fact, it made me want to grow and share and be more a part of others’ lives. Not bad for a deceptively simple exercise.
Now for the epilogue.
If you are super adventurous and want to really go deep, try turning the page in your notebook and numbering from 1 to 100 and do it all again, ** without repeating any prior answer**.
“I am…attempting to complete this”. If you choose to do the same, I’d love to hear what you discover.
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