It’s so easy to identify yourself with your circumstances, and to have your sense of your own possibility shaped by them.
But it’s important to remember that while you will always find yourself in, or subject to, particular circumstances, they are not you. They never were. They never will be.
You are not your failure or your difficulty, your pain or your illness, your frustration or your longing, your debt or your confusion, your hopelessness or your fear or your certainty that you are stuck.
And, equally, you are not your success. You are neither your status nor your privilege, your bank balance nor the string of letters after your name. You are not your fame, your salary, the size of your house, the number of ‘likes’ you have.
Every time you think you are your circumstances, whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’, you diminish yourself.
So who are you if you are not any of these?
Can we ever find the words that will do justice to this question?
For today, I think Khalil Gibran’s response, from The Prophet, is a very good place to start:
“You are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself”.
Nothing more. And, certainly, nothing less.