OK Mamas, it’s test time. You won’t need your No. 2 pencils or your college-ruled paper. But you’ll need to focus on the most important woman you know. Ready? Let’s go.
Please answer the following question:
Who are you?
What was the first thing that came to your mind? Was it your name? No, no…not your name.
Think deeper. Who are you?
A woman? Sure. A mother? OK. What else? A wife. A daughter. A sister. Great, great, and wonderful. Let’s just get all the relationships and friendships out of the way.
What else? Come on, sister, think harder. Who are you?
A Christian? A Muslim? Jewish? Or not? An American? An Immigrant? Hispanic? Indian? African-American? Arab? Yes, you are those, too.You’re also stay-at-home-moms, doctors, nurses, students, teachers, realtors, lawyers, business women, entrepreneurs, etc.
Now that the titles are stripped away, and the relationships are dealt with, let’s get personal.
Pull your chair closer. Look at me. What defines you? If your name was placed in good ol’ Webster’s big book of truths, by definition, what would be your truth? Are you defined by who you are to others? Meaning, is the definition of you found in who you are to your family and friends?
Let me explain: if you define yourself as a “mother,” what will happen when your child doesn’t need to be mothered anymore? When he’s 26, married, and living in his own house with his wife, what will be the “you” you are left with? Or who “you” were before motherhood…were you a different version of yourself? Nope. So, we are not the relationships we choose to fulfill. That is a commitment we live out.
Then who are we?
We are living and breathing beings. Each one of us is a separate entity with our own fingerprints and our own DNA. And one day, a long way from today, our very own graves. We are individuals. An individual that is “existing as an indivisible whole.” (I promise I’m going somewhere with this!). If we are “indivisible whole,” by definition, then why do we define ourselves by that which divides us?
We become the mother, daughter, sister, friend and neighbor, aka: the everything to everyone. Dividing our being into so many pieces that we leave nothing for ourselves. Then we ask those pieces to define us. But they were never meant to. They were meant to make us whole and not fractions of ourselves.
Again…who are you?
You are everything you described above, but that doesn’t define you. You are your own being. It is when we allow others to define us, we are left with a fracture. A fracture that results in leaving fractions of yourselves for others. Chances are that those others are on their own journey to be whole, and your fragments are left at their doorstep. They are unwelcome and left to rot.
You are you. Beautiful? Yes. Brave? Yes. Intelligent? Of course. Significant? Absolutely! A whole being who is meant to be on a journey to protect your whole self. To nurture yourself. And dare I say…to love yourself first.
For it is the woman who loves herself fully, who is able to love others fully. She is able to give without taking away from herself. There is one more thing she does: she gives herself solely in the servitude to her faith. She is like the lens. Her faith reflects off of her like a radiant rainbow that brings light to all others. A radiance that only works if she is whole. She need not break away pieces of herself in the name of her faith; she is one soul offering herself to her belief completely.
She is indivisible. Undeniable. Individual.
So, who are you?
Are you defined by what you are to others? Or are you the definition, the composition of everything that is a part of you? You are who you define yourself to be. And if that is the definition I will find beside your name, in a dusty old book on the back wall of an aged library, many decades from now, is that the you you want to be remembered for?
Now live your definition…
Who are you?