When somebody asks me who I am, I can answer many different ways…
- I am Jessica.
- I am a humanologist
- I am a writer.
- I am a human being.
- I am a mother, a wife, a woman…
No matter what I answer, I will always be telling a partial truth because I am all those and more. Depending on the person asking the question and my circumstances, I might choose different answers. For example, if the person asking me is a prospective client, I will surely not answer ‘I’m a mother,’ but will clearly choose that answer if the person asking is the head of school.
Who or what I am is not limited to a single word or a bunch of them. I am many things. Even if I choose to display and convey one or several of those things depending on the circumstances, that doesn’t mean that I’m not the rest at the same time. I still am. I just decide not to share them. I am not my circumstances. They don’t define me. No matter what answer I give to the question of who I am, I still am all the rest as well. I am still all the given answers plus the omitted ones.
We sometimes feel limited and defined by our circumstances: ‘I am homeless,’ ‘I am poor,’ ‘I am depressed.’ Just by uttering those words, we somehow become them. When a person says ‘I am unemployed,’ he or she is choosing that definition when, in reality, he or she is only mentioning the circumstances at that moment. That person is much, much more than ‘unemployed.’
I am me; I am not my circumstances. When introducing myself to the world, I always try to reflect who I am, not my circumstances. If I want to talk about my circumstances, I can always say something like… ‘I have some extra weight at present,’ ‘I’m currently experiencing some health issues,’ ‘I don’t have an address right now.’ (Instead of ‘I’m fat,’ ‘I’m sick,’ ‘I’m homeless’)
When others hear our answers to that question, an idea is formed in their minds. The information they receive is the one you give them. If your definition of yourself is a summary of your current circumstances, that’s what they will see. Not only now. But when they meet you next in the future. Because that’s what you told them you are. You gave them no other choice, no more information, just a very tiny slice of your truth. Don’t be surprised, then, when that’s the only thing they see.
I am… reflects who we are, not how we feel or see ourselves. So be careful next time you introduce yourself. Remember it’s YOU that you’re talking about
Enjoy life… ALL of it,
Jessica J. Lockhart – humanology – www.jessicajlockhart.com
Jessica J. Lockhart is a humanologist, bestselling author and renowned international speaker. Follow her here: