“To be…

27 Apr

what you must, you must give up what you are.”

— Yusuf Islam

I like this quote.  Now, here is my MUST:

Be yourself.  Not your friends’ self.  Not your symptoms.  Not your reactions.

Just be. 

I bring this to you after another one of those days at work…  The clients’ mental tapes are annoyingly (heart-wrenchingly) familiar by now.

(On that note, maybe I could ask them to play it backwards…  What if it becomes an affirmation?  RAD!)

It usually goes something like this:  “My eating disorder…”  “ambivalent about recovery…”  “Tell me what to do…”

(Because it’s only your life!)

The details do change but the heartbreak is always there.  And, the emptiness.  And, the armor.  They come thick skinned (hollow belief-ed) and armed.

Armed with their eating disorder.

(Do you have a flag? <–CLICKY)


I’ll stop. Lighten.  (You DON’T want to hear my tape :P)  Let me see if I can get to what I mean…

What if we could allow ourselves to imagine a life where my identity is just me?

Fluid.  No matter what the task.  Or context. 

I exist.  Whole.

Because here’s what I see…  Too often what we do gets transposed in our psyche as who we are.  This is FALSE.  (It has to be.)  This is dangerous.

Reminder:  The doing ALWAYS stops.

Yet still, we tend to live for a ‘doing’ sense of self.  Attached and labeled.  This can happen through our career, by how we relate to our friends / partners, by the ‘shoulds’ of our parents, by our leisure time activities, by really ANYTHING that we fill our time with.  And, let me be clear:  It’s fine to have a ‘do.’

(I’ve got lots of them.  And, EW–NOT like that!)

But.  Please.

Do does not equal who.

Be warned.  It’s slippery.  Where it gets EVEN more complicated (and arguably unsafe), is when we develop a lifestyle and (support?) network that facilitates the DO.  This is when it feels like our who is our do.

(Remember:  Jamie ‘The Skater’.  Yeah.  Me too 😦 )

Still, this is not the case.  Do is NOT who.  The two are just enmeshed.  Webbed.

To be what you must, you must give up what you are.”

Ultimately, I must be able to understand myself and life even if I were to lose things.

(Trust me.  I have experience with this one.  Lots.  It blows.  And, if you let it, it blows you wide open…)

I can learn to recognize that I am the constant (and accept my constant evolution :)) in my life.  And, if I am a constant then I do not need to take ownership of a symptom or habit or hobby or relationship or job and call it MINE.  Attach it to me


I am.  Everyday.

And, you can be you.  No matter what happens.  Everyday.


(No flags required… ;))

2 Responses to ““To be…”

  1. Kristin Brænne April 27, 2011 at 11:33 am #


  2. Travis Lee April 27, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Great message for me to hear today! Thanks. 🙂

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