How do you define yourself? I'm talking about the deep-down fundamentals at the core of who you are.
A few months ago (yes, I've been pondering this for ages), I went for lunch with a mentor of mine. She's basically my Yoda. She wouldn't like that comparison and would much prefer I call her my Branch Rickey, but I'm trying to appeal to mass knowledge here. Anyhoo, we discussed my concussion and how it was screwing with my sense of self.
I had never taken the time to figure out what makes me tick. Luckily this extremely insightful woman had and her conclusions were spot on.
She proposed that I define myself in the following way:
1. I am tough and can handle anything on my own.
2. I am a hard-worker who will go above and beyond the call of duty.
3. I am an active and contributing member of society.
No wonder I felt I was losing myself! The concussion proved that I was not as tough as I like to think I am. I had to quit my job and was no longer hard-working. I spent hours on the couch alone, so there goes my contribution to society. Okay, I realize I'm being a drama queen, but it's how I felt at the time.
I was terrified that I wouldn't be "me" again; that those core elements I used to define myself were gone. I wasn't entirely sure I liked the new "me." I was scared my friends and family would secretly wish I was who I used to be. I kept trying to get back to being the person I was before the accident.
Slowly but surely the "me-ness" returned: my sense of humour came back; my ability to express myself returned; my physical strength grew. I felt more and more like myself.
And I stopped trying to be the "me" from before my accident. Luckily, with healing came wisdom. I learned from the accident and became a richer person for the experience. I wouldn’t go back to being the woman without this new wealth of knowledge.
I look at the way I defined myself pre-accident. I don't know for sure, but I suspect my core values have shifted in the past few months. Only time will tell, but I'm curious to see how I will define myself in the future.
SOTS wonders... How do you define yourself? Can your core values change or are they an inherent part of you?