“I Am” Versus “Am I”

“I am” versus “Am I” are thoughts that can lead us down the road to a better understanding of ourselves.

We grow up hearing things about ourselves that come from so many different people. These other people give us their limited subjective opinion of us as a human being. The problem is, many of us grow up believing their words to a great degree. Enemies, angry people, friends, relatives, CLOSE relatives, all have something to tell us about who we are in regard to being human. Many receivers of those messages adopt those views and ultimately take those thoughts away, limiting their lives by saying “I am a ‘this’,” or “I am a ‘that.'” Without thinking critically, we grow up believing these lies that are put into our heads.

Now, before I get too far down the road of negative thoughts, this can also apply to positive affirmations. “Oh, you’re such a wonderful ‘this'” or “Oh, you’re such an awesome ‘that.'” (By the way, I really despise the use of the word “awesome” in the way that it is used, today. What word are we going to use when something TRULY awesome comes our way? But I digress…)

There are words and thoughts that are meant to tear us down. There are words and thoughts that are meant to exhort us or make us feel good. Both sides can be a lie, and yet we never stop to ask ourselves the question, “Am I?”

Take the thought of “You’re such a loser!” (Or whatever other thought people have tried to paste on you (or in you).). That thought can be effectively reduced to a lesser feeling of pain when we ask ourselves, “Am I a loser?”  Of course not. The one person’s view of us, other than our own, is such a very small part of the world, overall. One person’s view (or possibly two) out of what…  7.3 billion people? This doesn’t seem to add up. Have I made mistakes? Yes, indeed, I have. Has the other person made mistakes? Undoubtedly, they have. Have I lost things or relationships? Again, yes, I have, painful as it might be to admit. Have they?  Well, if they’re alive, then they have, as well. Do these people see a particular failure/misstep/mistake on your part, or even a series of them, and then classify you as a total incompetent? Without thinking, they will classify you as such. Without thinking, sometimes we follow their lead and believe their words.

What I am trying to point out here is that there are bitter, hateful, spiteful people all around us, whether they be outright enemies or loved ones. They simply cannot wait to unload their own grief/anger/spite on some other poor soul.

On the opposite side of the coin, there are those positive affirmationists. They will come up to you and tell you that you are the most awesome thing since sliced bread. You might look at them, smile and say, “Thank you.” You could possibly walk off with thoughts of “They don’t seem very genuine with their thoughts.” Again, it would be time to ask, “Am I what they say I am?” While their intentions may be just as good as the negative people are with their bad thoughts, it can be a little bit over the top. This could lead us to false assumptions about ourselves and bring on greater discomfort somewhere down the line than if we had measured the thoughts that enter our minds in the first place.

We will see hints and flecks of our true selves, all along, if we give ourselves the latitude of being human. Being human means making mistakes. Being human means wondering through the fiery maze of other peoples’ opinions of us, whether they be for good or ill. Being human means that you’re not a god/goddess. If we simply take the thought of “I am…” and counter it with the simplest question of “Am I…,” then we can begin on our way toward having a better and more balanced view of ourselves. Do not be surprised, though, that along the path of that journey, you lose things and people you thought you would never lose. The greater aspect of this is the surprise of the things and people we find, when we are able to stand on our own feet to have a better understanding of who we really are as human beings.

For every aspect of who we are, there is a lifelong journey to be had in those discoveries. They all begin by asking the question…

Am I?

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