"Who am I?"
This single question is asked by nearly every person at some point in their lives. It is a question we ask because we must. We can't help but wonder who we really, truly are at times. Socrates once said that "the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being."
So how do we examine our lives? How can we find the answer to the question, "who am I?"
The answer, I believe, is simpler than we think. Many people believe it takes some mystical meditation method and constant deep thought, similar to what Buddhism and other eastern practices offer. Many believe that it is only through many hours of training that we can come to know who we "really are," and that barring that, it is impossible.
As I said, I believe in a simpler solution.
The trick is, to be honest.
Yes, that is really all there is to it.
It is a bit harder to be honest with yourself than it seems. It requires humility to see things for how they truly are. We may tell ourselves that we are strong or grounded or happy, but are we really? I will admit it is appropriate at times to tell ourselves these things (even when we don't feel that way) in order to make it through difficult situations, but that is not what we are talking about here. Remember, our subject is examining ourselves in order to answer the question "who am I?"
I recently saw a video where a man said that America is not the greatest country in the world. He spouted off several statistics as his proof and proclaimed (rather angrily), that no, America is not the greatest country on the earth. I was a bit taken aback, even offended, until what he said next.
He said that we used to be. That at one time we created and took down laws for moral reasons. That at one time we reached for the stars and stood up for what we believed in because we were informed. He then said the first step to fixing a problem is recognizing that there is one, implying that it is time to start fixing the real problems we face instead of accepting the politicking by those who pretend to care.
It is the same with our lives. If you want to know who you are, you must be honest about not only the problems you face, but the good things about yourself as well. There is a tendency to downplay our own strengths or weaknesses and pretend they do not exist, but as humans this is not the case.
The truth is that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and that they are all different from each other. Once we take the time to stop and recognize what our strengths and weaknesses are, we will be better able to deal with whatever situation comes our way. We can use our strengths to shore up where we are weak and we can prepare ourselves for things coming our way that we know will be difficult.
But it takes some time and effort on our part to do this. We actually have to stop and think honestly about our lives, goals, wants and needs. The question is, will you do so?
I encourage you to take the time to think these things through. You will find that once you know yourself honestly, you can get much further than you could just gliding by. But don't forget the ultimate answer to the question "Who am I":
You are a being created by God who loves you and wants you to be His. Who wants you to do His will and Who gave you all of the tools you need to get where you should be. Who loves you so much He gave His Son for you, and who will give you whatever help you need to become who you truly should be.
That, is who we are.