“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” ~ Lao Tzu
Who am I? Have you ever in your entire life asked yourself this question?
Was your answer, Bob Smith? I just meant your full name, your first name followed by your last name. My last name changed when I got married. My first name has a nice meaning but is widely mispronounced and misspelled since my childhood. The point I am trying to make here is, I am not what I am addressed as. My name belongs to me. It is not “me”.
OK, let me try again.
Am I my physical body?
I am already biting my tongue as I know that it is a lame guess. Do I ever say “I am my shirt” or “I am my ring.” Think of body as a costume that we are wearing. We drive it. If you are familiar with kids shows like Sesame Street or Barney, we are just like a person in a Barney or Big Bird costume giving life to the character. In many cases, the body gives us a clue to our character.
But sometimes people change their body and portray a look unlike themselves. The real person gets lost in the look. I was inspired by the thoughts of the Sikh girl, recently featured in Yahoo news, who accepted her body as it came to her.
It is very interesting to me that when I am myself, I have had people call me “sunshine”, which happens to be the meaning of my first name. However, having said all that, my description is not exactly “me”. When the living person takes off the costume what is left behind is just a bunch of colored cloth, feathers etc. When I leave my body, I will leave behind a mass of flesh, skin and bones. Oops..my body is not “me”.
I am going for Try #3.
Am I mind?
My thoughts come and go. I remember as a child I used to play cricket with boys. As I grew older I started to think of boys differently. Can you think of something that you used to do long time ago in your childhood. I bet you can. The mind has memory that strings the changing thoughts and emotions together. At this point I will venture to ask “What happens to the person suffering from Alzheimers’ disorder? ” She is alive. However, she is not able to remember many things in the present and past. Does that mean she has lost herself? This is debatable….
In conclusion, I have not completely answered the question “Who am I?”
The search continues…INSIDE.
Roshmi Bhaumik is writer at her site HAPPY LIFE - You have a friend in you and software developer at Ricoh Production Print Solutions in Boulder Colorado. She is married and a mother of two kids. She believes personal development is essential for a happy, meaningful life.