I was struck today by how much we are defined by external conditions, which the led me to thinking about what really defines us.
For me, the thought of what defines me came to me this morning when my 16 year old son pointed out that my current situation around money does not define my worth or how I should or shouldn’t view myself. Sometimes we are all in that situation of not being able to see the wood for the trees.
I’ve been dealing with some very challenging circumstances over the past few months around my work and finances. Although I have some semblance of a plan, every now and then I question what I’m doing and completely lose myself in the conditions I am presently faced with.
My son pointed out quite simply that far too many people base their whole self worth around what they do or do not have in their bank account.
‘It is just paper’, he pointed out, ‘it does not make you one thing or the other, it has nothing to do with who you are.’
I love synchronicity – when you are seeking something or an answer, a solution; how the universe just sends you whatever you need. The trick of course is being open to noticing it when it comes your way.
The second synchronicity (there have been a few today) was a video of a guy who asked specifically what defines us. Some people say their job title, being a mother, father and so on. He told a story about his father who in the end said he is defined by love and when stripped back said, ‘I am love.’
I’ve pondered over this all day and realised that at the moment, I am choosing to allow my external circumstances – the life situation I am currently in, to define me. In following the Buddhist path you live in a way that keeps you centred – this is why it is often termed, the middle path – where no matter what life throws you way, you return to your calm centre where you can choose how to respond (or not sometimes) rather than react. This isn’t literal in the physical or location sense – there is no middle or centre, it simply means returning to the heart of you or the core of your being where there is a river of peace and where everything is just as it is and you are ok, strong and sure of who you are. Truly you are love and in a wider sense you are everything and everyone because you are a finite part of an infinite universe.
So today, ask yourself this question, what defines you?
[Image copyright Kah Lok Leong Unsplash]