Be You

By Jodie Aberle. Jodie, 46, is an occupational therapist. She lives in Adelaide, Australia. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

How can I not be influenced by feelings of necessity to know what I am? I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am, yet everything I do is analysed, judged, criticized, liked, outdone, undermined or loved by myself and others.

If it is not necessary to know exactly what I am, then why do I despair when I am not this or not that?

Why do I keep score of my own failings, hold onto misfortunes, strive for perfection, shame my shortcomings if I don’t care about “What I am?”

Why do I delve into self-help books, compare, seek and strive to be better if it’s not important to know what I am?

Am I not anger, sadness, fear, happiness, joy and love like everyone else?

And then I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am, because how could I possibly know so many dimensions, so many layers, masks, fabrications, faces and expressions.

What I am is constantly moving, changing.

How can I be someone else when I am already me?

Yet I do become someone else that I was not in the beginning.

I’ve absorbed the fears of the womb, the smothering of parents with their own wraths, fears, delusions, strengths and dreams. I am sculptured by the opinions and thoughts of others and am interwoven with their personalities and traits. I am shaped by all who have crossed my path.

Am I different, am I evolved, am I new? Am I born again? Am I not the same soul underneath it all? Am I already the inside of the outer chipped off segments, where the real me peeps out, emerges and timidly shows myself to the world?

“The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning” – Michel Foucault.

How about “The main interest in life and work is to become yourself! Let the world see the real you. Eradicate the facades, strip back false pretence, speak out your real voice!

The barrage of social marketing influences us all. Look like this, look like that, be like this, be like that. How about switch it off, turn it down, shut it out. Go outside, be outside, breathe outside.

Breathe, meditate, enjoy the sunshine, seek new challenges. Plant the garden. Read the book. Be kind to others and especially to yourself.

That’s just it. Be interested in life and work at knowing what you love and like in life! Live without the need to seek approval and recognition from others. Stop the relentless scroll of other’s lives.

Also I do aspire to be different from what I was in the beginning. Beginning of what though? Beginning of time, beginning of school, beginning of now, and to where, death? Or do I want my ‘becoming someone else’ to go on beyond my time on this planet. To leave positive footprints, reminders of a life well lived, having favourably influenced the lives of those left to follow.

Even if I didn’t know exactly “what I am” whilst here on earth. Will I know after I leave it? Will I have helped to shape others ‘What I am’ and helped them to become someone else that they were not in the beginning?

The real us is at the very core of who we are. It’s etched into our very beings. We can hide it, we can mask it, however it is always there.

So be you. You that is a mixture of what you are and what you do. Who you help and who helps you.

Forget becoming someone else.

Be You.

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