Who Are You?

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I grew up in the 70’s and always loved rock and roll.  The Who was a favorite of mine, especially the song Who Are You. Originally, I just rocked out to the song without giving much thought to the words. Later, in my early 20’s the words to the song struck a deeper chord and I began to search for answers to this question. Who was I? I began, I’m Amy, a college student, a daughter, sister, and friend. I’m spunky, smart, creative and love to have fun. But I could hear the silent longing for more and wasn’t quite sure where it would take me. 

I liked being a “good” girl, and often made choices based on other’s expectations all the while conforming to success as defined by the world. This stance didn’t help me answer the deeper question of who I was, if anything it took me farther away. And I felt boxed in by this narrow definition of myself.

It took radical self-love and acceptance to get to the heart of this profound and powerful question. It was a long a winding road to be sure, and it required a lot of shedding and healing to be who I was meant to be. It required profound accountability for the choices I’ve made along the way, and lots of forgiveness for myself and others. It required self- kindness and a deep love for myself that I was often uncomfortable with. For years I thought self-love was selfish. I had to answer to my own hearts’ desire and sometimes that rocked the boat. It’s difficult to go against the wave of the world and surf wild and free. Questions arise, self-doubt lurks around the corner. But knowing myself and what I stand for allows me to share my unique gifts with the world unencumbered by outside expectations that limit my wholeness.

What about you? Do you find yourself making choices that aren't in alignment with who you know yourself to be? Working with clients, I often hear the mournful song of inadequacy and self-doubt. I think most people find it hard to just be who they are and love themselves from that place. And I know it’s possible, but it takes a commitment to self that is sometimes hard to make. With so many competing demands on time and attention, we often leave ourselves last or out of the equation all together.

In the song, the words become more urgent as the music swells summoning, WHO THE “bleep” ARE YOU? Maybe Roger Daltrey of The Who was expressing the deeper cry of a generation asking to be defined by each persons’ unique expression of life, and not fall into the trap of doing and being what the world identifies as appropriate. That’s not a wild ride, exhilarating and free, that’s a small container conforming for comfort and safety.

Do you hear the longing of your heart, calling forward the full expression of your life now? Are you willing to step out of the box and take a ride on the edge and see yourself expand and grow? It all starts with self- responsibility and self-love. Are you ready?