Friday, September 16, 2011

Who Are You? (August 2006)

I was president of my mom’s group a few years ago. Every month, our newsletter included a President’s Greeting. It was usually a cheery preview of the month’s upcoming activities. Since I’m not very good at cheery previews, I used the space to write my own personal thoughts on motherhood. I am including these on my blog for my children to read one day.

August 2006: Who are you? Don’t just automatically rush ahead and think, “I’m ____’s mom and ____’s wife.” Don’t think about whose daughter, sister or friend you are. And don’t think about what you look like! Think about your core self – your soul, your heart, your passion. When you take away all the roles that you play and all the hats you wear every day, what do you have left? What are your loves?

If you were to ask me, here’s what I’d say: I am Elizabeth. I am God’s child. I am passionate about words and talking and feeling – whether it’s joy or sorrow. I am opinionated. I am a little obsessive-compulsive. (Okay, a LOT.) I am addicted to my husband, my kid and my computer. I love to read and learn new things, stretch my mind to new possibilities. I like to take photographs, make things and write. I love to overindulge in the good things of life: laughter, love, food, drink, friends. I love red and purple, but not together. And I love music.

I ask the question “Who are you?” because it is so important. If you don’t know yourself, then how can anyone else? How can you teach your child to know himself? And how can you fulfill your purpose if you haven’t looked inside yourself to find out what it is?

Once you know who you are and what you love, you have the ability to nurture yourself and become more fully YOU. And when you know who you are, you can show the others in your life who they are too.

This quote from Marianne Williamson is one of my favorites: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God! Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us: it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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