Remember Who You Are

Photo by Alysia Thomas

I woke up this morning with a scene from the Disney movie, Lion King, running through my head. It’s where Rafiki gets Simba to follow him to see his father who had died a long time ago. Samba only sees his reflection and doubts himself, since he isn’t his father. Rafiki asks him to look harder. When his father appears, he tells Simba that he has forgotten who he is. As he disappears he says, “Remember who you are.”

It’s hard to remember who we are when the world barrages us with what we are not. Maybe we aren’t driving around in flashy sports cars or living in a mansion or traveling all around the world. Maybe we don’t have biceps that resemble the nearest mountain or 6 pack abs or a Sports Illustrated body. Or perhaps you have all this or a happy family and life and still feel that something is missing. Maybe you know exactly who you are and don’t need to keep reading. Good for you!

But if you are like the majority of people today, you have forgotten who you are or never have really known. Why is this even important? Look at the photo of the trees. They are majestic, beautiful, life giving. If I am a tree growing in that forest, I am at once a part of this amazing network, but also separate. I have role models to look up to, but am also limited by their view. I can’t reach higher, because I am not quite sure why I’m there. Maybe it’s to help the others grow, but what happens when some of them get old and fall? Who am I when it’s my turn to branch out?

If I don’t know this, if I haven’t fostered this part of my soul, I could very well wither and die, too. How can my soul learn what it’s here to learn or fulfill my destiny if I don’t know who I am, where I hail from, or what I’m doing here? Finding these answers is part of the journey, part of the discovery, but I can spend my whole life looking and never quite understand.

It’s possible that we know who we are, but choose to fight against it, because it’s not comfortable or people have turned against us. If you continue on this path, then that is when dis-ease begins. That is when the universe pushes you onto the track that your soul set before you even entered this world.

I looked up the word ‘foster’ in the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus (This is a cherished gift that my friend, Jamie, gave to me from her deceased father’s book collection.) Foster can also mean “cultivate, contribute to, stimulate, strengthen.” The opposite is “neglect or suppress.”

So what do I want to cultivate or grow? I want to cultivate a community of hope and support for those struggling around me, as well as grow the positive energy of those who are on their right path. Instead of ostracizing others who are doing exactly what they want or are called to be doing, I want to celebrate and honor that. It gives me the courage to do the same.

What do I want to contribute to? I want to help children who battle cancer every day and are faced with the fear of scars, permanent health issues, side effects, discrimination, misunderstanding, reoccurrence and death. I want to contribute to their positive well-being and give them an outlet for that fear.

I want to stimulate creativity so that others can find who they are within themselves. Through journaling and self-expression, we tune into our purpose and energy. I want to stimulate conversation and writing to appreciate that even as we are all individuals, we are also part of a whole community that can respect our differences and rejoice in our commonalities.

I want to strengthen my resolve to do all of this, but also do what I need in order to create harmony within my body, spirit, and mind. I can’t fulfill my purpose, the reason I am here, if my body is in constant conflict with my mind or spirit.

Who am I? I am someone who has the ability to build community, help others find their purpose and live harmoniously with myself and all that I am meant to be and do.

I think I need to delve deeper into answering Who am I, but this is a start. My goal is to create one or more personal affirmations that reflect who I am and can serve as reminders.  Maybe they will go on a card with a drawing or a photo of this tree and placed where I see it every day. This is ongoing and will continue to change as I evolve. I hope you will do the same.

What do you want to cultivate or grow?

What do you want to contribute to?

What do you want to stimulate?

What do you want to strengthen?

Who are you?

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