The teacher thanked us all and told us that not one of us had answered his question.
We all looked around in confusion.
We had long lists stating who we were.
"Those are the roles that you fill each day. They are not 'who' you are...", he said.
"Now - write down "WHO" you are".
We took our pens in hand and .....
Sat in silence.
No pens were moving.
We were all stumped.
We looked around the room hoping that the answer would find us.
How do you answer that question?
If I couldn't state my roles - then who was I?
This question wasn't about what I did or how I spent my time -
but it was about those things that we hold so close to ourselves, deep down inside.
The things that we feel uncomfortable speaking out loud because it may be interpreted as being
egotistical or vulnerable or afraid...
The ever-thriving personal internal debate...
"like yourself just the way you are - but don't brag about it or you are conceited."
"don't show your fears and vulnerabilities or someone will take advantage of you".
So "who" am I? Who do I believe I am?
I'm still learning the answer to that question.
I may never fully know the answer because I am always growing and changing and evolving.
I hope I never stop.
But let me share the words of Marianne Williamson -
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
This quote gives me goosebumps every time I read it.
This is who we are -
it is who I am...
And I hope that, as I let my light shine as bright as I am able, it will "give other people permission to do the same." As I am "liberated from my own fear", I can "liberate others".