My husband and I differ in how we communicate. I process thoughts out loud. He mulls over things internally and takes him time to speak. It’s taken me a long time to both notice this rhythm and adjust my conversational style accordingly. How have I changed? I’ve learned to be silent and wait, knowing that he will most likely respond to my comment in a thoughtful way when he’s ready.
So I’m not the person I was, exactly. Interaction with another person I care about has helped me learn about myself and grow in flexibility and patience.
Our theme for this month is “Who am I becoming?” The question assumes that our “self” is not a fixed entity that never evolves or changes. At a soul level, that is the case. We’re born with a spark of divine essence that we spend a lifetime attempting to discover and bring to the world. The self, on the other hand, is our expression of that divine essence as we understand it. It’s malleable, responding to life circumstances, desires, relationships, life stages. Who we’re becoming depends on how observant we are of that self and how intentional we are in shaping our thoughts and behavior in an authentic and creative way.
From time to time, it’s useful to ask, “Who am I becoming?” To start you on your reflection, here are questions you could journal or draw a response to or discuss with a friend. The point is not be judgmental about yourself, but to play the role of the witness, noticing changes that provide useful information to you.
- When do you feel out of sync with your surroundings or circumstances? Is this a new feeling or something you’ve experienced for some time? What do you observe about yourself, based on your discomfort or dis-ease?
- How has your response to a family member or friend changed over the past year? What has prompted this change? Has a new insight about yourself emerged?
- Has your taste–for food, fashion, lifestyle, leisure–evolved? Are you giving away clothes that no longer suit you? Shifting to a new hobby or volunteer commitment? Step back. What does this say about you?
- Reflect on any feedback you’ve received from others who know you well. Or ask them for feedback. What do they notice about you that has changed?
- How do you feel more in sync–or out of sync–with who you know yourself to be? What values are you expressing or not expressing? What do these values represent?
- How are you like the child you recall being? What has not changed about you after many years?
Stay tuned for more thoughts on this topic. Share with us what you’re learning about yourself.