Friday, August 15, 2008

I am who I am because of...

I had half an ear on the tv this evening while I was on the phone and heard the tagline for, I think, Orange - "I am who I am because of everyone" - and it got me thinking.

...I am the sum of my relationships, the people I meet, the experiences I share...

Simple really. But oh so very complicated - does that mean that we let those around us define us?? Or that we can carve an identity out for ourselves shaped by our experiences?? Or somewhere between the two??

Sadly, I think its more often the first. "I am who I am because of everyone" becomes a negative statement - I am who I am because of the labels people put on me. Or worse, the labels we *perceive* have been put on us. Why is the default setting so often to believe the very worst about ourselves?? Why do we let it happen??

It is true that experiences can shape you, sometimes very strongly...that when you look back, you can see the people who have helped and those who have hindered. The lessons learnt that you should carry with you, but also all the stuff that should be left in the past. The people we come in contact with shape us, of course, but there is a difference between learning from and reacting to people and situations, and letting them define us. Yes, we are the sum of our relationships, the people we meet and the experiences we share. But not defined by any one single thing - not by one failed relationship, or by being the mother of three, or by being one of the gang. We are defined by a combination of factors that come together to make our unique us-ness.

So no, I am not who I am because of who you have made me, but because of how I choose to to be. Because of what I choose to believe about myself. Because of how *I* choose.

Love, etc.

No comments: