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Who Am I?

How do you see yourself? Who are you in your own honest opinion? Fundamentally good? I mean you do more nice things than most people and you're only proud on the inside. That's ok right?

Are you fundamentally bad? Do you always seem to hurt people? Are you haunted by mistakes you've made in the past and those you've let down? What's your criterion? Parental expectation? Social norms? A faith or religion? Regardless of how you see yourself and the standard you use to do it - what you think of you matters. It will have a profound effect on every aspect of your life. It will influence decisions, relationships and how you respond to adversities.

Take this example. Person A, let's call her Rose and Person B, let's call her Thorn. Rose likes herself. Doesn't love herself but is generally content with the person she is. Thorn not so much. Thorn thinks she's a "bad" person. She thinks she only does good things so other people don't find out how bad she is. When she makes a mistake she's just being herself, she thinks.

Both girls experience the same life event. Their respective sets of parents get divorced. Both are hurt, both have questions and uncertainty about their futures. Rose acknowledges that her parents had a relationship before she was ever born. She deduced that the two people she knew as mum and dad were responsible adults capable of making their own decisions. Rightly or wrongly they had chosen based on their relationship. Nothing to do with Rose. It didn't need to have a bearing on her future relationships. Marriage was still something she wanted to pursue.

Thorn by contrast deduced that it was actually the three years of her own self harming that had caused the divorce. Driven a wedge between her parents. She had ruined the relationship and this validated the fact that she shouldn't pursue a relationship herself. She'd only mess that up too. In fact why let anyone get close to her? She'd hurt them. Much better to isolate herself, hurt herself more rather than risk hurting anyone else.

Rose and Thorn experienced the "same" life event. Yet their fundamental view of themselves influenced their responses, convictions and future life intentions. The view that the girls had of themselves was ultimately what defined their path. Not the divorce of their parents.

Our interpretation of what an event means is usually more powerful than the event itself. It's that interpretation that defines how we move forward - or otherwise. Perhaps take time today to consider how you see yourself. Ask those uncomfortable questions and consider what has formed the opinions you have about yourself. Could be worthwhile.

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