2 Ways to Answer, “Who Am I?”
Who am I? Can you truly answer that question? Many people struggle to answer that question.
Others think they know the answer. However, the answers most people give actually say nothing about who they truly are at a soul level.
“Who Am I” and How Do I Introduce Myself to Others?
Think about the last time you introduced yourself to somebody. What information did you give them? My guess is that you named the roles you have in life. Typically, we define ourselves by our roles.
Think about that. Now, do any of those roles truly answer the question, “Who am I?” Is your identity completely tied to roles such as your occupation, being a parent, being a sister or brother, a daughter or son?
Another response that is often given is connected to biographical information, which also gives no true answer to, “Who am I?” So, why isn’t that information a correct answer to “Who am I?”
Roles in Life Do Not Answer, “Who Am I?”
Society wrongly teaches us to define ourselves based on our roles in life. Society teaches us to cling to our roles as if we would be nothing without them. As a therapist, I have found that most people truly struggle to answer, “Who am I”, when I ask and explain that their roles are not part of their soul identity.
Sadly, most people have never considered who they are apart from their roles and biographical data. Do those things give you a picture of somebody’s true soul?
I’ll use myself as an example. The kind of information most people give when meeting a new person is typically something like the following.
Typical Answers to, “Who Am I?”
My name is Mary Beth Fox. I have a precious nineteen-month old baby who is the light of my life. My amazing husband and I live in Hernando, Mississippi.
He takes such good care of me! Originally, I am from Tupelo, Mississippi and lived in Dallas for several years. As for work, I am a mental health therapist and a self-help blogger. I have six nieces and nephews and I adore being an aunt.
Now, does any of that information actually answer, “Who am I?” No, it does not. Again, this is simply a list of my roles and biographical information.
Exploring Your True Soul Identity
So, how might I answer the question, “Who am I,” if I were to give you insight into my soul’s true identity? I would tell you that I am a pretty introverted person who thrives in one-on-one or small group discussions about life. I have been called a “modern-day hippie.” Potty humor is something that I will laugh about until I’m ninety-years-old.
My soul feels most at home in the mountains. Surrounding myself with children warms my heart. Guiding others to learn to love themselves as I spent years learning to do, is a true passion for me. Silliness is a huge part of my life.
Playing silly pranks and hiding things from others makes me laugh. My belief about the world is that all we need is more love and so many world-wide problems would dissipate. I am deeply compassionate and fiercely protective of those whom I love.
Take a minute and think about the information I just gave you. Compare it to the biographical information and my roles I shared with you. Which one actually gives you a clear picture of my soul’s true identity?
Obviously, the second one. Notice that in my second introduction, I didn’t name one single role or one piece of biographical information! Can you now see how our roles do not define us or tell us who we are at the soul level?
Your Roles Do Not Define Your True Soul Identity
By now, you may be thinking about how you would introduce yourself without naming your roles or giving biographical information. This can be difficult to do.
For example, say that you meet a 35-year-old woman out and about somewhere. You strike up a conversation. She tells you she is a mother of three children.
She and her husband have been married for sixteen years. You find out that she is a nurse at a local hospital. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where she and her parents still live five miles from one another.
Do you have a clear picture of her true soul identity? No. You might believe that she is a caring person, as that is often how we identify nurses. Beyond that you have no knowledge of her true soul identity beyond her roles and biographical information.
Using Pets to Answer, “Who Am I?”
When I begin guiding others towards discovering their true soul identity, there are two methods I often use. Bear with me as one of these methods might seem quite odd to most people.
First, I ask those who have pets to imagine that I could have a conversation with their pet. If their pet were able to talk, what would their pet tell me about what kind of person their owner was? Yes, I am serious.
Obviously, I get interesting looks when I present this question. Why would I ask what their pet might tell me about them? That’s simple! Animals seem to be able to see our true souls. Think about how in tune your pets are with your mood.
There have been times that I have had people tell me their pet would say they are mean, lazy or other negative characteristics. When I hear these answers, I guide them to an understanding of how loving and forgiving animals are towards humans.
Animals offer love and forgiveness more quickly than all humans I know. Yes, we have a thing or two to learn from animals. Once I explain that about animals, people are able to start exploring the beautiful answers their pets might give me.
Think about that if you have a pet or had a pet you were close to in your life. No matter what, that pet probably saw you in a very loving light. Sometimes we even believe that our pets may know us better than any human.
Why might that be? Well, we are scared to be vulnerable by showing our true selves and our true soul identity to most people. If we do that, the risk of being hurt sneaks in. Our pets won’t judge us and always offer unconditional love. Again, we have a thing or two to learn from our pets.
Children See Our True Soul Identity
The second method I use for people to begin exploring their true soul identity involves children. Think about everything you just read about animals and replace it with a child who is eight or younger. Just as pets seem able to see our true soul identity, children do the same.
Young children are still full of hope and love. Sadly, this even includes children who have been neglected and/or abused. It’s typically not until they are a little older before they begin to understand that not all people are able to return the love these precious children so freely give.
Children, just as I mentioned with animals, seem able to see our true soul identity. They can help you answer, “Who am I?”
If you’ve been around children much, think about a time when a child’s love quickly lifted your mood. They are such a gift and are able to truly connect to our souls without judgment.
If you have any young children who have been a part of your life in some way, think about how they might answer the question, “Who Am I”, for you. As with animals, children are very forgiving and for the most part would only tell you the wonderful and sweet things they see or feel about another.
Sorting through, “Who Am I?”
Are you beginning to have a few answers to, “Who am I?” You might be starting to realize that maybe your roles in life don’t define you. Please be aware that acknowledging that you don’t know who you are apart from your roles can bring up a lot of tough emotions.
Allow those emotions to come as you move through the exercise using a pet or a child. If you have never had a pet and have never spent much time around children, there will be another blog post soon about other ways to find answers to, “Who am I?”
For those of you who found this helpful in answering, “Who am I,” please comment on this post and share your true soul identity. Let the world know your true soul identity!
Who Am I?: My feeling is that labels are for canned food… I am what I am and I know what I am.” Michael Stip
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This site is only intended for people who are truly willing to look at themselves with an open mind and have the ability to truly be vulnerable with themselves and others. Please understand that this site is in NO WAY THERAPEUTIC ADVICE. However, this site can be very beneficial in learning the causes of your Not Good Enough Stuff. This site is not intended to provide or replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Mary Beth HIGHLY RECOMMENDS finding a licensed therapist to help you process the information from this site and all that you learn about yourself. Visit Psychology Today to find a licensed therapist in your area.
I love this conversation! Thank you.
My name is Mahara and I am a child of the universe, a thinker and a creator of love.
I often told my children when they were growing up that they were precious children of the universe.
I love this Mahara! Thank you for sharing who you are. I love the “creator of love” identity! The message you gave your children is one of the most beautiful messages that I’ve heard a parent giving their children! Love to you on your journey of life!
I quite enjoyed reading through this and couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement ?? All too often in introductions we play out the same response of what we do in terms of work occupations – these definitely say little about the soul.
For example I am a Peer Support Worker within mental health. A profession that I believe I will be in for life. However if I started my introduction with, ‘It took one major trauma in life to know that caring for myself and others is fundamental to my being’, there is a clear difference!
I enjoy caring for others so much that I have put my own wellbeing on a back burner. Something lights up in me when I see the impact my interaction with others can have. In the same breath, it astounds me when I come across souls that are liberal and given like me. It’s an irrefutable attraction/connection ?
Thanks for sharing this post ?? It has most certainly shifted the posts of my ‘first impressions’ paradigm ?
Ninette, Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. Peer Support Workers are so incredibly valuable in the Mental Health Field. Most of us in the mental health field often neglect our own self-care. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself!!! I’m sure you’re such an asset to all you help! Please let me know the next time you use your new introduction and how it goes. I would love to hear about your experience with it! You might like to read this post about self-care. It is vital to our ability to continue our work in mental health. Here’s the link https://notgoodenoughstuff.com/what-is-self-care/
Love to you on your continued healing journey!
Welllll, Mary Beth, The Very 1st Response to that Question was Just Unbelievably Horrible Negative Things…. About Me!!!! I felt sooo Worthless, sad n Disappointed in Myself!!!! Then I Said I’m Not All Those things… Why is it? My Mind Flooded w/ This Automatic Horrible Response?!? It Has To Be programmed in Mind Sooo Deep.. This Hatred for Myself… No Matter how I Know I’m A Very Loving Caring GODLY Woman, Who has a Passion For Loving and Helping Others … and I Don’t even Love Myself?!? That Really Doesn’t Makes Sense!!! But that is My Truth n I’m Even Ashamed to Admit It But… that’s it! No Matter , How Many Say Ive helped them or how much They love me n say I’m an Inspiration to them… It’s Sad to Think I don’t feel or believe those things bout Myself!!! You know it does get better at times but seems to go back eventually to the same old thinking!!! Well I Need to Be Reprogrammed!!! It’s in My “Belief “System !!! We Can THINK n KNOW Something… BUT… Some where … Somehow… (My Belief System Got Warped)!!!! And I’m Ready Been Ready to Get To The ROOT Of All This Self-Destructive Thinking!!!!
Missy, you know it is so hard to rewire these kinds of thoughts. I’m just glad you’re willing to work on yourself because that is so hard to do! This post might be helpful for you to understand where some of your Not Good Enough Stuff came from. Post a comment if you have any thoughts or questions. Here’s the link https://notgoodenoughstuff.com/negative-self-talk-and-its-creation/
Sending you so much love as you continue on your healing journey! Mary Beth
Mary Beth, If I told people who I truly am I would probably get locked up for having delusions of grandeur. Keeping a low profile seems to be in my best interest because the collective consciousness can’t handle too much truth.
My cat is actually the only being who knows and accepts me as I truly am.
He has been my best teacher in regard to living wisely on this planet.
I used to think the same thing, but I disagree now. When I started showing my true soul identity, I found people who would accept and love me for that. If we never give others an opportunity to see our true soul identities, then we could be missing out on authentic connections. Of course, there will be people who don’t accept us. I’ve also learned to be ok with that. I show my true soul identity in every aspect of my life and that has brought me such peace.
As for your cat, I’m glad he/she is a great teacher. Pets are such treasures for us! -Mary Beth
Wow! I love this exercise of thinking who am I through my pets and grandchildren’s eyes. To them I am loving, patient, gentle, I care deeply about their wellbeing and truly enjoy the beauty in my days. I share my love of movement and spirituality with them and watch them bloom with me. Thank you for this lovely gift of knowing myself more deeply!
You are so welcome Louise! All that you named is so beautiful. It warms my heart to know I helped you know yourself more deeply. Your pets and grandchildren have such a treasure! 🥰