What do you identify yourself with? You might be surprised when you really start looking closely. The following questions will really get you thinking deeply about how you define yourself. Answering them requires sincere intent, self-honesty, and a good sense of humor!
Questions to ponder, here:
Are you your occupation? I am a consultant, unemployed, a doctor, a lawyer, a cook, a soldier, an administrative assistant, a teacher a scientist, an accountant.
Are you your hobbies? I am a painter, a rock climber, a jogger, a gardener.
Are you your body? I am fat, skinny, tall, short, beautiful, ugly.
Are you your emotions? I am angry, sad, happy, disgusted, bored.
Are you your thoughts?
Are you your causes? I am pro-life, pro-choice, a Democrat, a Republican, a libertarian, a neo-Nazi, an equal rights activist.
Are you your ethnicity? I am African-American, Caucasian, Asian.
Are you a parent? I am a father, a mother, a good parent, a bad parent.
Are you what you have? I drive a Porsche, a BMW, a Chevy, a hybrid. I am rich, poor, moderately well off.
Are you your good qualities? I am helpful, compassionate, intelligent, honest, generous.
Are you your bad qualities? I am selfish, arrogant, insecure, jealous, mean.
Are you your achievements? I am a war hero, an employee of the year, a self-made multimillionaire.
Are you your failure? I am bankrupt, a high-school dropout, an abusive parent.
These things have become a false self when we get our sense of identity and self-worth from them. At that point, they are no longer things we do, have, think, or feel, but rather the basis for how we value ourselves.
Do you think that if any of these things were to change that who you are would change too? Would your value as a human being change as well?
Adapted from Present Moment Awareness, by Shannon Duncan (New World Library, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Shannon Duncan. Reprinted by permission of New World Library.
Adapted from Present Moment Awareness, by Shannon Duncan (New World Library, 2003).