A popular theme in a lot of children’s movies is the notion of “being who you are”. I think it’s typically found in movies where younger characters are trying to prove themselves to older characters; expectations are set for the younger characters, but, realizing that those expectations aren’t in relation to who they are, the younger characters decide that it is best to “be who they are” instead.
Now there isn’t anything wrong with that necessarily. The truth is though, being “who you are” goes a lot deeper than your typical Disney movie. It’s a question that everyone has to ask about themselves at some point in their lives; a question that they might have to ask throughout most of their lives.
“Who am I? What does it mean to be ‘who I am’?”
It so happens that this same theme is very important to my own book series, The Golden Lands. John Hedekira, the main character, often comes back to the question of what it means to be a “Knight”…and a “Knight”, in my series, is just a synonym for “man”. So John is wondering what it means to be a man, and, on a more personal level, how this relates to who he is.
It’s quite fitting, then, that John Hedekira’s character is based on me. Because sometimes I feel as if I don’t know exactly who I am.
It’s hard to talk about this without going into a bit of philosophy and even theology/Christianity. As a Catholic Christian, I know that I am a child of God the Father, a brother of God the Son (Jesus), and, yes, a spouse and temple of God the Holy Spirit. But I don’t actually think this revolves around “who” I am. All of this revolves around “what” I am. I am all of those things in relationship to God, and therefore–in a special way–in relationship to the world, and I can’t change that, no matter how hard I try. You can’t change “what” you are. But “who” you are is a different case, I believe.
So what does it mean to “be who you are”? Doesn’t that mean summing up all of your likes and dislikes? Your dreams and your failures? What am I good at? What am I NOT good at?
In order to know who you are, I guess you really have to know yourself.
That’s why all of this is a journey, I guess. A journey to know yourself.
I think some of the biggest questions we can ask ourselves are:
What things do I love?
What is the manner in which I choose to love other people?
What is the manner in which I desire to BE loved by other people?
What do I want to give this world?
What do I want back from it?
Not surprisingly, all of these questions bear close relationship to the thing that makes the world go around:
Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
If you really think about it, asking these questions can be kind of scary. Because finding the answers will mean knowing the truth. And the truth can be scary. We might not actually be the kind of person that we think we are. We might not actually love people the way we thought we did. Asking these questions is difficult, and maybe it will take a lifetime to truly find the answers.
But, if you’re like me, or the main character of my book series…
…don’t you want to be who you are?