Monday, June 27, 2016

Who Am I? (Again)

Who Am I? I’ve spent a long time asking myself this question. Searching for an answer, and sometimes I would find one and then a while later I would keep searching. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. My core values, beliefs and goals have been well-defined through years of volunteer work and self-reflection. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I think that people are usually looking for all of those when they are finding who they are. But I knew all of those and I still asked. When things weren’t going well, I would say “I’m not sure who I am.” But the same core-values were still there. Goals change sometimes, but most goals I think don’t really define us, they guide us.

In the end, I think I have been asking myself the wrong question. I am not looking for who I am. I know who I am. I am a Sikh, a woman, God’s child. Those things don’t change. When we go through things in life, there are two groups of people. One group tells you “don’t worry, despite this, you are the same person underneath. It hasn’t changed you or hurt you so deeply that you are damaged.” The other says “wow you’ve really changed as a result of this, you’ve worked hard and now you are way stronger than before this event happened.” And yet both sets of people are looking at you at the same time. How is it possible that one set says you are the same, and one says you are different? And both are trying to make you feel better? I ask myself if, given that I am continually reflecting and changing myself, I can be the same person day to day. Am I still the same person, is the answer to who am I still the same? I think it doesn’t matter. Both groups are right. There are things about ourselves that are set. We are born in certain circumstances, we have a soul, we have a body, this is us. Our core values, are us (because usually we don’t change those) and so when people say you are still the same underneath, they are saying you are the same beautiful soul you were before, and you still have the same underlying values. But when people are saying we’re different, we’re stronger, more resilient, we’ve grown and learned out of hardships, they are talking about the more outer layers of ourselves. We managed to maybe change some of our values and beliefs that are holding us back from being happier or more fulfilled, these are still more outer layers and they help us and make a tremendous difference in our lives. So I don’t know if I can say I’m the same person as yesterday or last year, or whatever- whether I’m continually changing, which I am, or whether I am the exact same person that I was growing up because I still have the same great qualities I did then. But it doesn’t matter, because ultimately I know I’m on a journey where I am continuing to grow while maintaining the values of Sikhi that I grew up with. I'm going to stop asking myself who I am constantly, and instead my questions are going to be what did I learn? what beliefs are helping me and what's holding me back and what can I do to make tomorrow better? Because i finally am satisfied with my answer to who I am. 

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