2 Ways to Answer, "Who Am I?"
Who am I? Can you truly answer that question? Many people struggle to answer that question. Others think they know the answer. However, the answers most people give actually say nothing about who they truly are at a soul level.
“Who Am I” and How Do I Introduce Myself to Others?
Think about the last time you introduced yourself to somebody. What information did you give them? My guess is that you named the roles you have in life. Typically, we define ourselves by our roles.
Think about that. Now, do any of those roles truly answer the question, “Who am I?” Is your identity completely tied to roles such as your occupation, being a parent, being a sister or brother, a daughter or son?
Another response that is often given is connected to biographical information, which also gives no true answer to, “Who am I?” So, why isn’t that information a correct answer to “Who am I?”
Roles in Life Do Not Answer, “Who Am I?”
Society wrongly teaches us to define ourselves based on our roles in life. Society teaches us to cling to our roles as if we would be nothing without them. As a therapist, I have found that most people truly struggle to answer, “Who am I”, when I ask and explain that their roles are not part of their soul identity.
Sadly, most people have never considered who they are apart from their roles and biographical data. Do those things give you a picture of somebody’s true soul?
I’ll use myself as an example. The kind of information most people give when meeting a new person is typically something like the following.
Typical Answers to, “Who Am I?”
My name is Mary Beth Fox. I have a precious nineteen-month old baby who is the light of my life. My amazing husband and I live in Hernando, Mississippi. He takes such good care of me! Originally, I am from Tupelo, Mississippi and lived in Dallas for several years. As for work, I am a mental health therapist and a self-help blogger. I have six nieces and nephews and I adore being an aunt.
Now, does any of that information actually answer, “Who am I?” No, it does not. Again, this is simply a list of my roles and biographical information.
Exploring Your True Soul Identity
So, how might I answer the question, “Who am I,” if I were to give you insight into my soul’s true identity? I would tell you that I am a pretty introverted person who thrives in one-on-one or small group discussions about life. I have been called a “modern-day hippie.” Potty humor is something that I will laugh about until I’m ninety-years-old.
My soul feels most at home in the mountains. Surrounding myself with children warms my heart. Guiding others to learn to love themselves as I spent years learning to do, is a true passion for me. Silliness is a huge part of my life.
Playing silly pranks and hiding things from others makes me laugh. My belief about the world is that all we need is more love and so many world-wide problems would dissipate. I am deeply compassionate and fiercely protective of those whom I love.
Take a minute and think about the information I just gave you. Compare it to the biographical information and my roles I shared with you. Which one actually gives you a clear picture of my soul’s true identity?
Obviously, the second one. Notice that in my second introduction, I didn’t name one single role or one piece of biographical information! Can you now see how our roles do not define us or tell us who we are at the soul level?
Your Roles Do Not Define Your True Soul Identity
By now, you may be thinking about how you would introduce yourself without naming your roles or giving biographical information. This can be difficult to do.
For example, say that you meet a 35-year-old woman out and about somewhere. You strike up a conversation. She tells you she is a mother of three children. She and her husband have been married for sixteen years. You find out that she is a nurse at a local hospital. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where she and her parents still live five miles from one another.
Do you have a clear picture of her true soul identity? No. You might believe that she is a caring person, as that is often how we identify nurses. Beyond that you have no knowledge of her true soul identity beyond her roles and biographical information.
Using Pets to Answer, “Who Am I?”
When I begin guiding others towards discovering their true soul identity, there are two methods I often use. Bear with me as one of these methods might seem quite odd to most people.
First, I ask those who have pets to imagine that I could have a conversation with their pet. If their pet were able to talk, what would their pet tell me about what kind of person their owner was? Yes, I am serious.
Obviously, I get interesting looks when I present this question. Why would I ask what their pet might tell me about them? That’s simple! Animals seem to be able to see our true souls. Think about how in tune your pets are with your mood.
There have been times that I have had people tell me their pet would say they are mean, lazy or other negative characteristics. When I hear these answers, I guide them to an understanding of how loving and forgiving animals are towards humans.
Animals offer love and forgiveness more quickly than all humans I know. Yes, we have a thing or two to learn from animals. Once I explain that about animals, people are able to start exploring the beautiful answers their pets might give me.
Think about that if you have a pet or had a pet you were close to in your life. No matter what, that pet probably saw you in a very loving light. Sometimes we even believe that our pets may know us better than any human.
Why might that be? Well, we are scared to be vulnerable by showing our true selves and our true soul identity to most people. If we do that, the risk of being hurt sneaks in. Our pets won’t judge us and always offer unconditional love. Again, we have a thing or two to learn from our pets.
Children See Our True Soul Identity
The second method I use for people to begin exploring their true soul identity involves children. Think about everything you just read about animals and replace it with a child who is eight or younger. Just as pets seem able to see our true soul identity, children do the same.
Young children are still full of hope and love. Sadly, this even includes children who have been neglected and/or abused. It’s typically not until they are a little older before they begin to understand that not all people are able to return the love these precious children so freely give.
Children, just as I mentioned with animals, seem able to see our true soul identity. They can help you answer, “Who am I?” If you’ve been around children much, think about a time when a child’s love quickly lifted your mood. They are such a gift and are able to truly connect to our souls without judgment.
If you have any young children who have been a part of your life in some way, think about how they might answer the question, “Who Am I”, for you. As with animals, children are very forgiving and for the most part would only tell you the wonderful and sweet things they see or feel about another.
Sorting through, “Who Am I?”
Are you beginning to have a few answers to, “Who am I?” You might be starting to realize that maybe your roles in life don’t define you. Please be aware that acknowledging that you don’t know who you are apart from your roles can bring up a lot of tough emotions.
Allow those emotions to come as you move through the exercise using a pet or a child. If you have never had a pet and have never spent much time around children, there will be another blog post soon about other ways to find answers to, “Who am I?”
For those of you who found this helpful in answering, “Who am I,” please comment on this post and share your true soul identity. Let the world know your true soul identity!
Who Am I?: My feeling is that labels are for canned food… I am what I am and I know what I am.” Michael Stip