Who are you, really?
The intensity of the healing room, and life events over the course of the last few weeks have got me thinking about this whole idea of who I am. I am complexity and simplicity all at once is the story in a nutshell. I wanted to explore this idea through a blog because I’ve spent a lot of time telling people to focus on finding out who they are. My motivation for this blog is to give some direction in this sense, using my own experience as an example.
I’m not entirely sure if people will relate to my experience but I’m willing to risk it. Even if it gives you a sense of where I’m coming from, then mission accomplished. I find it difficult to separate myself from my work. Perhaps that is because of the nature of the work that I do. If somebody asked me to tell them who I am, the first word would be “Healer.”
I watched an interesting TED talk this week which hit home to me the extent to which I am defined by my work. As a self-confessed workaholic, I could relate to everything she was saying about loving my work and feeling the hum inside you. Then she began to talk about the other parts of her life, and it got me thinking about who I am outside of work. I realised I don’t pay as much attention to the other areas in my life because nothing nurtures me as much work. This week has been about getting the balance. I’ve taken some time off, reluctantly because I wanted to prove I could practice what I preach! I’ve spent time with friends and realised I can make people how with laughter. I’ve spent time with family and realised how truly loved I feel. A bit like the woman in the TED talk, I came to the same realisation that these are the things that fill me up so I can work to the best of my ability.
If I am completely honest, it is really difficult to separate myself from my work. I get paid for being myself!! I’ve had to learn to draw lines around myself and decide where the boundaries are. I’m blessed that my job description demands love, compassion, empathy, caring, nurturing and encouraging hope. In my personal life, these are the same qualities I want to embody to make a difference as a good human being. It is a blessing. One thing that I have realised is that I am more than just my work. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunty, a friend, a businesswoman, a teacher. I am multi-faceted and there’s so many different parts of my life. It’s true that work gets most of my attention, but I’ve learnt to fill up the other areas of my life in the same way. All of my experiences make my work stronger, and I’m slowly learning that work will always be there but time missed with family and friends is something I don’t get back.
It’s quite a difficult question to ask yourself…who are you? Other than my job…who am I? I am a strong and passionate woman who lives her life and makes the best of everything. What do I like to do when I’m not working? I love to walk, read, create art, listen to music and laugh until my belly hurts. It took me a while to answer those questions, and I am still finding out the answers in some ways.
The process of getting to know yourself is an important one. It is about asking yourself these questions, and being honest when there isn’t an answer. It used to make me quite sad that I didn’t know the answers and then I decided to do something about it. I had to be brave enough to put work down and find out. It will always be difficult for me to put work down, but now that I’ve discovered how much more I am, it makes me willing to see more and grow myself in different ways. I guess this is also part of my healing process. It means that by doing, I can teach this from my own experience.
Who are you at work and who are you at home? What makes you happy? What fills you up? Who would you be if you didn’t have your work? It’s interesting to know how people define themselves and the identities they create that influence their thought processes.
Got you thinking…? Let me know what you think…