The Question Remains

Who am I? I think this is a question we all ask ourselves from time to time and it is more important than we may think. Our lives are constantly evolving and it is important to stop every once in a while and figure out where we stand. When I say we I am really speaking for me and hoping that there are others who may agree with me. Wow. That sentence was a little awkward, but I’ll keep it because it is also a little amusing. Back to the question at hand; who am I anyways? Answering this question is not nearly as simple as I’d like and there has to be a lot of soul-searching to begin to grasp the complex nature that is one’s self. I guess scientifically I am a mass of cells that work together in a complex and vulnerable way to breathe, think, walk, run, etc. That in itself is a huge thing to wrap your head around, so when we get to the question of who we are as that organism things begin to muddy. I need to clarify the question before I feel I can answer it; by who I am do I mean to ask what I stand for, or what I believe in, or what my personality type is? I don’t want to say that who I am is merely a mental health sufferer because I don’t want that to define me (though I won’t deny that it plays a major role in shaping who I am). During my different therapies that I have gone through a common theme has emerged. I must try to be aware of the root causes of my negative self-image; almost retracing my steps back to what the root cause of these thoughts are. This is not an easy task and I have thought I have made it back to my general belief or motivation on a few occasions only to find that I was nowhere near it. I am told that my negative self-image stems from a belief that if I am not perfect then I am a failure. Why do I believe this about myself? I need to trace backwards from this belief a little further to try to figure that out. Am I afraid that people will love me less or discard me if I am not perfect? Am I afraid that people won’t take me seriously professionally if I am not perfect? Why am I so convinced that lack of perfection will somehow cause the earth to leave its orbit and crash into the sun? Is there anyone around me that I can point to as perfect? Is there anyone around you that you can say is perfect? I can’t think of anyone, but yet I expect it of myself for some reason. There is nothing inherently wrong about striving for perfection, but once it becomes the only option and the only measure of success it becomes a destructive force. Who am I? Well, I guess I am an imperfect man in an imperfect world who somehow expects to find perfection in himself and feels that he is a failure because he cannot obtain it. There are many groupings that I could be put into; I am a vegan, I am somewhat environmentally aware, I am a Christian, I am predominantly left-leaning in my political views, I am a punk rocker, I am a musician, I am a father, a brother, a son; I am a soon-to-be University student, I am a mental illness sufferer and mainly, like all of you, I am a human being. When it is all stripped away we are all the same; a mass of cells that have different specializations yet work together to form the larger and more complex organism. I don’t think I’ve answered the question, but I don’t think the question has a true answer.

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