The vision of me that others have? The picture of me as a little girl? The fading photograph in one moment, many years ago, dressed by others?

Am I wife, mother, sister, friend? Am I journalist, public relations pro, teacher of writing, author? Am I all of the trappings of identity we pile on to the surface of who we are and drug ourselves into believing that is all we are?

Or is there something so much deeper that we can’t quite comprehend?

As we think, so we become. I am all of those things listed above but it’s just the scratched surface of my identity. And the big question comes when I want to peel away those layers to meet the person dwelling deep inside.

We never do that, do we? This week in my 21 Day Writing Challenge, I prompted the talented writers in the group to write a love letter to themselves, to the person who is not any of the titles or degrees or careers or roles, the real person, the soul, the identity that never wavers or is affected by income or marital status or parenthood.

And then it occurred to me: I’ve never done it myself.

It’s easy to lead others toward Truth, hard to lead ourselves.

What you think about usually manifests into being. So manifesting starts with a thought. What happens before the thought?

So let’s start this conversation again. Who am I, really? Who is this person I need to be? I am not like my father, I am not like my mother, I want to be like me. Except I’m not clear who that is.

I’ve been apologizing a lot for my reactions, my words, my instincts. It ends today. Not sorry anymore. This is me, the whole package. Take me, leave me, be irked by me, love me. It’s your choice.

I can’t be shaken by your perspective. Or rather, I no longer want to be.

It’s OK. It has nothing to do with you. This is a conversation with my self, and I’m finally looking to be in sync with the soul that came to this incarnation with me and which will live on beyond this life.

We’re in it together for the long-haul, you see, so I really shouldn’t get caught up in what others think of me. It’s temporary. And it’s relative.

A good friend told me to begin to look at everything as if it’s never been done before. As if this moment is the first, this assignment unique among assignments, this day singular in creation. OK let’s do it.

I am the first woman ever to stand in this spot. I am the first one to write these words. I am the first voice in the clear still air of a cold winter day. The wind blows and my words carry off onto clouds perched far above me and so the words no longer reside with me, they are yours for the taking.

I will walk the walk, talk the talk. The incarnation is this moment. It’s all we have. Fleeting, the thoughts inhabit us and then depart. We are not empty, then. We are intact always – unless we cling to the meanings of these very transient thoughts, words, actions.

Everything belies the truth. In the stillness, where peace is a permanent resident, that’s where truth resides, and we can live there too, if we’d only stop getting caught up in the stories that spin out of spider webs, shadowy below the blinding sun, brilliant for now, ignorant tomorrow.

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