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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Who are You, Really?

This can be a complicated question to ask yourself. And have a complicated answer. Yet, it can also be made simple.

As real humans, we are multidimensional and multifaceted. We are our own universe. Full of intricacies that may or may not smoothly fit together. We hold innumerable conjunctions and contradictions. And it is as though much of life is spent figuring out what we’re all about. Plus, it may be difficult to choose who to be and who to become.

You can define yourself based on external factors, on internal factors, or both. Personally, I would recommend taking both into account in order to gain more complete self awareness. At least some of the time. But while these factors pinpoint your characteristics, which, combined, make the totality of you, what makes you YOU?

You may be familiar with the notion of Nature & Nurture (or Nature vs. Nurture). It basically explains how we come to be. And in that same vein, who we are. However, I’d also add Choice. And while it can be argued that “choice” is merely an illusion and we are all no more than the product of our circumstances, I’d still consider it important to highlight. Because there’s still a difference between surrendering to let life form you entirely and exerting some amount of will for things to be more one way or the other.

Nature is how you’re born. You have no control over this. It is in your ancestry, your genetics, and the gestation process. Everything before the moment you are officially born, which might also include prior soul contracts and other divine events for all we know. But ultimately, it is what you come with. Your starting point. Who you are by default.

Nurture is what you’re then exposed to and consume. Sustenance, education, challenges, and more that promote or deter your development. But also conditioning that, through reward and punishment, mold or even contort you into a shape. Nurture refers to everything that goes on from the moment you step out and into the world. Your parents and your peers, as well as your environment, play significant roles in making you who you are.

As for Choice, this happens when you become conscious and determined enough to follow a path. You pay attention to what you personally like and don’t like. What is and isn’t worthwhile to you. Possibly to what seems or doesn’t seem fair, too. And you begin to take steps and make turns in the direction that will lead you to where you aspire to be, to whom you wish to become. Quite incredibly, this may even take place subconsciously - as if you programmed yourself and forgot about the lines of code. And you might find yourself motivated or demotivated by certain things depending on how closer or farther they will take you from where you decided to be. Your body signaling you when your mind has forgotten. Working against or in favor of where you're taking it.

Therefore, to answer the question of who are you, really, you can take a holistic look at those three aspects of your life and zoom in for the details. How much of a fight between them has it been and what is winning? It will tell you about yourself.