Monday, 13 June 2011
Yes but who are you?
As we were having our breakfast - a full English, a delicious leaving treat yum (she was back to England) we noticed a lovely family opposite made up of mummy, daddy, gorgeous little one and a lively four year old. The four year old was a super little boy, talkative and animated and generally really inquisitive about life in the way only children can be. He was very excited about his shiny sunshine filled holiday.
My friend Becca really needed the loo and made her way into the taverna to go. The little boy and his mummy had gone before her and we still in there so Becca waited for them to come out. When the door opened the little boy just stood still and looked at her. 'Hello' he said, 'Who are you?' Bec's was a bit taken aback as she wasn't expecting that question. 'My name is Rebecca' she replied 'What's yours?'. The little boy told her his name and then said very patiently 'Yes, but who are you?'. Even more perplexed at this question Bec's tried to explain she was on holiday and that she was a friend of the owner of the taverna (Scandinavia Scala Jimmy and George - Plug given great food nice people I will continue!) The little boy thought about what she had said for a bit and then said in a very exasperated voice 'Yes, but who are you?' At this point Becca told me, she nearly sat down with the child and had an hour's therapy session!. It was a good question, a great question, a question she'd been asking herself for two weeks. I had been asking myself the same thing for most of my life...
Bec's looked the little boy square in the eye and said 'Well I'm an auntie and I have a nephew called Jack who calls me Auntie Bec and we have great fun together' The little boy pondered this for a minute or so and replied 'I've got an Auntie Bec too, so that's all right, you must be a real auntie' and he wandered away quite happy with the knowledge that he'd found an real auntie who was also called Bec.
We laughed, the two of us about this gorgeous little boy and his probing question of 'Yes but who ARE you?' It got me thinking about how quickly we like to define ourselves by telling others 'What we do', 'where we live', 'what we work at' and so on. Are these really true reflections of our authentic selves? Do our roles in life truly define us? Are the things we surround ourselves with, the things that let others know the depth of creative souls? Do our self imposed creative labels really give away any real information on what lies deep within our hearts? Do they speak of values, dreams, hopes or wishes?
Does how we describe ourselves and our lives show what is real about us as human beings? Are we ever brave enough to say something like 'I am a wild woman of the universe, I am a man in love with the night sky, I am most happy in a field of red poppies, I'm someone who likes to swim naked at midnight and feel as one with the sea'? Could we ever say that we are a human being with a palette of rainbow paints which we use to dab, splurge and make messy creations on our enormous palette called life? Do we ever whisper 'Actually, I'm a cranky old witch who has crazy moments, exotic thoughts and I like to dance on a deep green lawn full of early morning dew as the sun comes up? What do we ever really share readily and easily about our most wonder. full selves? Aren't the deep secrets really nuggets of gold, ready and waiting to be shared in all their glittering glory. Isn't the childlike curiosity of how things really work, the asking of why, the inquisitive mind we all still possess but don't often visit, the most real part of our selves? Do we still remember that impossible really means I'm possible? Don't we still recognize that our minds have untarnished spots of creative genius free from the shoulds, shame and sabotage that can dull our creative potential?
Do we stand in the shadows when asked 'Who are You?' Do we narrowly whisper 'I am a housewife, a taxi driver, a waitress, a writer, an artist'? Or do we beam the shimmering sunbeams of our creative dreams, hopes and wishes our into the great cosmos for the universe to work its magic. Do we sing out about our love of life, our main role of being the detective of our deepest dreams, our heartfelt yearnings and all the dollops of delight that help to keep our life force alive. Do we speak of what we LOVE.
The dark shadows that sabotage our creative urges and our sparkling hopes don't really belong to us, any more than the OPL's that were thrust upon us during our growing years. (Other peoples labels) The shadows can be cast off, the labels ripped from their habit forming but insecure fastenings. The whispers that threaten our joy full lives can be silenced and firmly placed into the bins of not needed. Our true selves can be revealed, uncovered, brought out to play, shiny, sparkly, refreshed and ready. Ready to breath new life into our old outdated roles that didn't ever really define us, didn't ever really fit - they always felt a bit baggy in places, pinched a bit and were slightly faded. With the old coverings gone, discarded, diminished we can become free to move fluidly, sensuously and elegantly into our true authentic forms that fit us perfectly, with our warts, wrinkles and wobbly bits always welcome as an integral part of our most brilliant selves. We are free to dip our creative hands into the well of true knowing and acceptance and begin to carve out, to create a life we love, sculpt and fashion ourselves in the form we most want to become and free to develop our lives into loveliness, letting go of self limiting labels and other crap that holds us back and limits the vision of pure possibility.
So next time you're asked 'Yes but who are you' by a four year old or anyone for that matter, think carefully about how you answer. Look at what really matters, what's truly important and how you'd like to be perceived and remembered. Labels are not real. What lies in our hearts is our only truth. Take courage to answer anyone as if they were four years old and totally accepting of you.....Remember real is the only real thing that matters. The Velveteen Rabbit story sums it all up so perfectly.