Do you ever wonder: who is the real you? I certainly have wondered who is the real me! (And although I will repeatedly use the word “you,” I include myself in these thoughts!)
Does life sometimes go like this?
In the morning, you are a good communicator. You are interacting with people that you work with in a positive, productive way. In the afternoon, in another group of people, someone makes a comment—maybe a criticism of a person you like, or a political opinion different from yours—and some other you shows up, the one that loses it and goes into a rant or simply shuts down.
On one day, in a difficult situation, you are the confident one, confronting difficult problems with your chin up. On a different day, in another difficult situation, you are a confused child who wants to run and hide.
Or—one day you feel warmth and gratitude for your friends and family; another day you wish they would all go away.
And those are just emotional versions of you. There are also all the roles you have to fill: managing your home, caring for loved ones, handling your social commitments, and of course attending to your own well-being.
It’s as if the you of the moment is just the tip of an iceberg. The many other persons of you stay hidden, until the one you want—or sometimes the one you don’t want!—pops up to take over. No wonder you sometimes wonder who you really are.
We are told that the solution to all this is to be centered. So maybe, like me, you have worked at finding and being true to your inner spirit. And sometimes you think you have finally found the real you. But then, one evening you hear a song, or read a book that brings images to your mind of a whole different life, a life you dreamed of long ago. Does that mean you missed your true calling? Was that meant to be the real you after all?
Maybe—just maybe—it’s time to quit trying so hard: quit trying so hard to fill all the roles; quit trying so hard to be centered; maybe even quit worrying about who the real you is.
Instead, maybe it’s time take a breath, step back from yourself—from your many selves—and notice how amazing and complex you are. You could gently watch the many versions of you at work and see how innocently confused you often are. You could especially watch the you that is always trying to get it all together—just like a child trying to pick up too many building blocks in her hands and inevitably dropping most of them.
I wonder—could it be that the most real you is this aware you—the you that can look at your many foibles, your many bright parts, and your attempts to fill all those roles—with wonder and compassion? Could it be that the real you is the one who watches your many selves and loves them all?by