Awhile back I talked about the idea of mantras and what they mean and whether or not I felt they were appropriate for me and jive with how I define myself.
Of course, how I define myself was the real question.
I believe that there are certain things that automatically define a person due to the nature of the thing. An example is being a mother. I can’t say for sure as I have no children, but my impression is that no matter how many other things a person does or is interested in, no matter how many other responsibilities a person has, having children means that motherhood – to a certain extent – defines that person.
I don’t have a thing like that. I’m a daughter, a friend, a wife, a dog owner, a librarian, a reader, a listener, a knitter, a runner, a watcher. But for me, none of those things define me exactly. I’m certainly dedicated to many of those things, and I enjoy or have to do many others. I’ve changed so much in the past 10 years – even the last 12 months – that it’s difficult to say how much of myself will be wrapped up in a certain identity. Being a wife, of course, is something that I do not intend to alter. I also trust that The Boy isn’t intending to change that. As a woman with a divorce under her belt, though, I know all too well that being a wife isn’t necessarily by definition a permanent state of being, no matter how much one wants it to be. To find something that defines me I feel that it must be something that no matter what I do I can’t quite get away from it, good or bad.
For me, that key component is my existence as a human being.
I think that in the past, the concept of “being” would never have been enough of a definition. After all, every person on this planet is a human being. It was too static. Too boring.
But I’ve felt a subtle shift in my perception of the concept of being over the past few months. It is no longer static. In fact, it’s incredibly dynamic and fluid. It’s different for everyone. At the same time, it’s a constant. You don’t escape being human. What changes about it are the components that make up what it means to each person to be human. And even more specifically, to simply be.
I’m not sure when this shift occurred. I think I know why. The process of therapy has made me so much more in touch with my emotions, thoughts and feelings. It has opened me up to experiencing life in a way I never thought possible. I’m still working on many, many things, but I have never felt more alive, more present, and more willing to let go. I can’t release myself of the responsibilities of day-to-day life and in many cases, I don’t want to. Things still stress me out, I still get angry and frustrated. I’m learning, however, that these feelings are normal, natural and part of being me. Part of learning to do that is understanding why I react the way I do.
Yes, I’m a daughter.
I’m a friend.
I’m a wife.
A dog mom.
(Okay — so that’s not really a picture of me librarianing, but I think I *look* rather librarian-like here)
But the one thing I have not chosen, the one thing I can never escape until the day I die, the one thing that can change with me and help me change, is being.
I feel good about that.