Who am I?
This morning my husband said to me, “I’ve been thinking about how we define ourselves. Today, I’m going to think about how I identify myself and let my thoughts about who I am be new.” This comment came on the heels of his reflection about something his favorite talk-show hosts said.
In the recent months this host had been off the air because of a stroke. This other person jokingly said, “We should make a reality TV show about your life and all of the stuff you’ve been through as a stroke-survivor in your 50’s!”
My husband said that if we perpetually identify with a past life experience, we’re limiting ourselves. I think he’s right.
What is the story of our lives? Do we self- identify with labels like victim? Cancer-survivor? Business-owner? Child? Parent? Man? Woman? Republican? Democrat? Gay? Straight? Christian? Muslim? Atheist? Asian? Immigrant? Young? Old? What is it that defines us, substantiates our lives, gives us purpose, and makes us relate to others?
I always appreciated the guidance from a modern dance teacher that I had in college. She told the class that we should allow our movement to extend beyond our hands, feet, and bodies. That clicked for me, “Who I am is so much bigger than a body! I am not limited to a body type, a physical form, a gender, or a title. I am spiritual-connected to infinite God.”
Certainly we shouldn’t abuse our bodies or shun the precious roles we have, but there’s something more profound and elastic that defines us and therefore unifies us.
When I’m having a tough day or can’t get past the labels, confused thoughts, pressure, or whatever… I find that the words in this song by my friend Alex Cook help me to remember who I am- what is really important/real about my life.
So without further ado- I invite you to think beyond labels, past experiences, and physical limits today and enjoy this prayer in the form of a song, “The Only Voice.“