Labels: Who are you?
One of my favourite passages in the bible is the one where Jesus asks his disciples ‘Who do people say the son of man is?’. In Matthew 16:13.
Feels like an out of the blue question. His disciples had answers, but it only got real when he asked them “But what about you?” , “Who do you say I am?”
I am not going to ask you who you think Jesus is, but I feel that is a question we need to ask ourselves a lot of these days. Everyone has access to you these days and therefore you are not in short supply of what everyone else thinks of you. The whole world (not literally of course) is constantly throwing labels at people, telling them what they should eat, when to eat, what to do, what to wear, how to look! It is a lot! The comparisons. The ‘real’ woman, ‘real’ man stories on social media. The ‘I am a success, be like me’ stories online.
It is so easy to get lost in all these stories and versions of who you should be and to forget who you really are. And it is a reflection of how truly lost we are. To think that everyone can be like everyone else is absurd. Are we building an army of brainwashed people who dress in a certain way, eat certain foods cooked in a certain way only at certain times and places? What happened to individuality? To the beauty of diversity? Even in thought, if you want to see how we have all been brain washed, say something different on Twitter and see how many people will attack you for having a different thought (No, I am not talking about people spewing hate). Just a normal but different thought. We don’t do different anymore. Though I wonder if we ever did.
Enough about all that is wrong with the world (for now). Just who are you though? Do you know who you are? If someone was to ask you who you are, how are you going to answer that? With a description of your professional achievements? With a description of your hobbies? With a fancy title that describes your progress in life? With your bank balance?
Just how do you define yourself. How do you get to a point where you say this is really who I am. Without the masks. Without the baggage. Without the assumptions. Without the noise. Without the pretence. Without the fear. Without the judgements.
Do you really know who you are? After all the labels and masks have come off, who remains? Because that is who you really are.
Sadly, I cannot tell you who you are. Only you can do that. Only you can tell what lies beneath the noise and layers the world has us wearing. Stay under the layers too long and you start to think that it really is you. Come out from under those layers while there is still a part of you left under.
Yes, you will stand out, you will be different, but you will be you.