When someone asks you: Who are you? Most people answer: I'm Laura, I'm 25, I'm married, I work as an office worker …
Your age, your name, your work, your personal situation, are nothing more than identification data. What we really are is in the depths of our being.
Whether you have a good or bad job, more or less property, whether you are married, single, separated, it does not give important information about what you really are.
To know oneself, one must leave all these external aspects aside and to dive into our interior, in sensations, attitudes, etc …
Who are we? If I am not my job or my property, I define myself as a responsible person, human, honest, intelligent … But these definitions that you give yourself, do not really describe you either, because what you think of yourself- even, may not be reality.
Indeed, you may be misrepresenting reality for a variety of reasons. There are some people who have an oversized ego and at the time of defining themselves they exaggerate things in their favor.
Otherwise, someone with low self-esteem exaggerates things to their detriment when they define themselves.
So, how can we know who we really are ?, can I trust what I think ?, can I trust what others think of me?
I am what I do, not what I think
To really know you, leave out the labels and definitions. Think for example of deeper things, like what is really important in life for me? How will I like to live? What values do I have?
We are what we do, not what we say. For example, imagine someone telling you that their biggest priority in life is becoming independent, but it turns out that this person is 41 years old and still lives with his parents.
What information gives us this situation? If a person really wants something, she will do anything to get it. It could be a person who seeks ease, without the spirit of effort and sacrifice, to stay in his comfort zone, without doing anything to change the situation.
We can say a lot with the words, but the true information is in what we have accomplished, where we are, and what actions we are taking.
You can get to know yourself better with your actions and reactions than with your ideas and beliefs.
What disturbs you, who stresses you and who disturbs you? What you perceive as flaws in others is part of your identity. Tell me what's bothering you and I'll tell you who you are.
You can come to see the quality of a person in bad times. For example imagine two friends who have always confided about everything, even their most intimate secrets.
One day, they argue and put an end to their friendship. Depending on how they react to this problem you will see the integrity of the person. If, despite being angry, they do not try to hurt themselves or take advantage of the secrets they know about each other, we will be in front of an honest person with values.
If, on the contrary, an angry person tries to harm the other person behind his back, creating a bad image and rejoicing in his misfortunes, we will be confronted with a vindictive person with little integrity.
It happens quite often that we do not see this negative part in others until we go through periods of stress and disagreements.
That's why in good times, we are all very good, but you will really learn to know someone in bad times.
Image reproduced with the kind permission of José Manuel Ríos Valiente and Peter Smile