Identity and Nelson Mandela

12 Jan

During my quiet time this morning, it struck me more powerfully than ever before how much I have forgotten myself – the person I know myself to be, who I was created to be.  As intricate and amazing as human beings are, the way our physical bodies function, not to mention our minds and souls, I cannot believe that we are an accident of nature. I believe each person was and is created as a unique being with gifts and talents, likes and dislikes, and each with a particular purpose.  Isn’t that what most of us are searching for – our purpose?  Why we’re here on this earth?  I don’t know the specific details of my purpose (where I will work or with whom), but I know that I have a passion for people, for loving, serving, teaching, and mentoring.  And I know, although I had allowed myself to forget, that I was created, as all are, with a particular intellect.  I never lost the curiosity of a child.  Too often these days, children lose their sense of wonder and fascination long before they’re a teenager.  I didn’t though, perhaps because I never stopped asking questions.  I have always been amazed by every aspect of life – the stories of individuals and societies, the way people interact with each other and their environment, questions of spirituality, the life cycles of animals, weather, and the mechanics of nature.  I’ve always said I would need at least three liftetimes to do everything I want to do, and eternity would not be enough to learn all the things I would like to know.

Increasingly over the past six months, whenever I looked at the dozens and perhaps hundreds of books that surround me, rather than seeing the numerous worlds to which I could return for further exploration and the many discoveries I had made within their pages, I only saw fear and hopelessness.  I have allowed these emotions to cloud and narrow my vision, creating a distorted image without the numerous possibilities I have always been able to see before.  I have allowed one person’s machinations to squash the enjoyment I would normally derive from my work and intellectual pursuits.  Studying and writing became chores, “work,” tasks I hated for the fear it engendered.

No more.  Slowly, haltingly, with small steps forward and a few back, I am reclaiming the territory I know to be mine, including how I define myself.  I am not sure exactly where this path leads, but I know that it will be a destination of my own making, influenced by others certainly, but ultimately, mine.

“I am the author of my destiny. I am the captain of my soul.” – Nelson Mandela

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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Self-Reflection


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