Defining Ourselves

I read something the other day that asked how do we define ourselves? The article went on to say that it was another way of asking the Mother of All Questions: Who Am I? I became intrigued with the idea of how we define ourselves as the underbelly to that Master question.

Throughout time, philosophers and religious seekers have asked the question, Who Am I? Depending on what religious or philosophical texts you read, there are many answers, but general agreement seems to be that we are not who we think we are in this physical manifestation. We are more: We are an extension of the Universal energy (or God or whatever your name for it is) that brought us to be born in this human body in the first place.

Personally, I experience this connection—this extension—in my deepest meditations, yoga practice, or when I sit in Nature and in balance with what’s around me. In those moments, the truth of oneness becomes undeniable.

If you asked me to define myself, I would rattle off that I am a wife, a media project manager, a yoga teacher, a writer, and a daughter. In reality, those are labels of the things I do and are to others. They define my roles in society and my abilities but they do not define me. Labels are made up and so are the associations with them. I don’t believe labels define a person. I believe that moments do. If you take any defining moment in your life—it’s in those moments that we reveal who we are and our true nature.

The defining moment for a firefighter battling a blaze reveals his courageousness in his desire to save people. The defining moment for parents reveals themselves as love when they stay up all night nursing a sick child. The defining moment for a lover reveals selflessness when he puts aside his own desires when he sees his partner in need. Even defining moments that at first glance reveal something negative, really aren’t. Taking it deeper, even a person caught stealing is not a thief. Yes, per the label he is, but the defining moment of theft reveals that he is a fearful person. Someone who is hurt and in need.

We need to be careful here also of mistaking our reactions to events as tells to who we really are. When we are pressed in situations, most of us react until we learn not to. Don’t take that reaction to be the answer to who you are. Take it deeper into what’s behind that reaction.

These defining moments can come to anyone at any time. They don’t need to be earth-shattering life events. They can be simple, and small, but hugely profound in their reveal. I found myself in my own defining moment recently when I was practicing Yoga. I was having difficulty keeping a balancing pose, so in a third attempt, I yet again, renewed my intention and shifted my focus. As my foot came up against my standing leg and my arms rose above my head, my thoughts suddenly shifted to “I am love. I am love. I am love.” With each repetition, my pose became surer and straighter. That single moment was a defining one for me. So who am I? Lots of labels, and lots of things to many people and yes, I am an extension of the universal energy, and I am also love.

Who are you?



6 thoughts on “Defining Ourselves

    • Thank YOU Rita. We are so quick to judge and define based on labels but oh we are so much more! I really appreciate your comment. Thank you, again…..

  1. Renata – this is probably one of my favorite posts of yours. It is compelling and powerful and really speaks truth to me. I love this. I totally agree with you – we are not our labels. And those moments that seep through and speak to us show us a glimpse of who and what we really are. And even those moments just scratch the surface – but they are closer than we can get otherwise. And yes – you are Love, and it shows! And I believe the true nature of all of us is Love – and our journey through life is discovering that. Great post! 🙂 ❤

    • Thank you Lynn! This was so powerful to me and my own moment really brought it home. I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much and I love and appreciate your comments. xoxo ❤

  2. Wow, really powerful post! Especially the part about your realization that you are love. That was a beautiful realization…and a truth! How wonderful to realize that and not succumb to the labels. You mentioned media project manager. Don’t tell me we have yet another thing in common. My career has always been in media: I started out as a media planner & buyer and then I was in media advertising sales. What kind of media projects do you manage? Love your post. Love you! ❤

    • Ha Michele, you are really scaring me. Separated at birth? I think so! I do Media Project Management for an Educational Publisher. So I work on videos, flashcards etc. for Higher Education. I was also buyer and project manager for higher ed textbooks. My professional background is 25 + years in publishing. And thank you for you comment. I always love hearing from you. When I read your comments I feel like I’m getting a long distance hug ❤ Love you right back 🙂

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