Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who Am I?

I'm slobbed out on the settee my bad knee has swollen up, there's a lovely breeze blowing in through the patio doors my dog is snoring and everyone else is in bed.

I took a football training session at the school today, my youngest son put his hand up during training and said "you're scary" I don't mean to intimidate the lads I just have to push them to get the best out of them.

I have this recurring worry that how I see myself is not how others see me. We all want to be true to ourselves but why is it that what other people think really influences us?

You sometimes meet people who don't appear to care what others think but I have an inkling that even that could be a show.

Often I think that you don't always get what you see when it comes to people.

You don't always get what you see with me. Why is it I am happy when out and grumpier when at home? I know we can be ourselves at home but sometimes I feel fake.

I get worried that I will be found out, I'm a christian who doesn't often feel spiritual, I'm a husband who doesn't always feel very helpful, I'm a dad who sometimes shouts at his children, I'm a friend who forgets to phone his friends.

I'm not depressed about this and recognise it as the norm for most of us, I just occasionally get fed up with paradoxical living.

Then I try to be who people want me to be and that doesn't sit very well, I'm not a chameleon and don't feel particularly complex. Yet I guess we are all complex beings and we all have slight chameleonic tendencies to change when in different surroundings, Napoleon Bonaparte said "Put a rogue in the limelight and he will act like an honest man."

On a deeper and more honest level we should live as recommended by Doctor Suess said "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"

Most of the time I am happy in my skin and am happy that people take me as they find me just as long as they don't think that what they see is all of me, it's just a part of me.

We are all more than the sum of all our parts.


Mark Robins said...

Google "Imposter Syndrome" and see that this is not uncommon!

Tanya Heasley said...

I use to live like Dr. Suess's recommendations, but a wise man once told me 'to be quick to listen and slow to speak.'

The wise man's approach works well, but I still believe 'honesty is the best policy.'

Jon said...

I thought the last line was important - we are more than the sum of all our parts.
People are pretty complex and are shaped by how they relate to one another, its pretty foundational I guess. Loving others is the core of what God calls us into and it calls into being ourselves.

Who are we outside of how we interact with others? I think that I have always thought of myself as pretty detached and that peoples perception of me will always be imperfect. I think that I continue to find that who I am is imperfectly expressed in interactions with others but the more true I am to myself, the more I find me and others.

gaylafriend said...

i've been thinking about this a lot lately. good stuff. keep 'em coming!

ps- lovin' the podcast!

Hannah said...

Funny that. I was thinking about how some people seem to never let things affect them or never seem to care what people think of them, yet things can and do affect me and I do care what people think of me.

I think it's to do with whether you are outwardly or inwardly focused. Outwardly focused people tend to be exactly who they say they are with no facade but they also tend to be insensitive to the world around them. If you were to tell this type of person their behaviour was upsetting you, they probably wouldn't care or change. These people tend to go around laughing without a care in the world.

My guess is you are an inwardly focused person, as I am. You do care about the affect you have on the world and you consider it a lot.

I think it's important to be somewhere in the middle as if you are too inwardly focused you can end up being too self critical.

Brian said...

thanks I like that Hannah, I tend to be inward focused and can be self critical. Introspection is not always good I internally process a lot of scenarios going over them far to much in my head. Tanya yes the wise mans quote is better than doctor suess's!