How Do You Define Yourself?

When you think of who you are, what characteristics truly define you? How do you define yourself as a human being? When you sit down and create a picture of who you are, do you begin by listing your physical characteristics? Or do you start with what you do for a living? Or your parental status? Where you fall financially? Your best personality traits? Or maybe your worst? I spend much of my day speaking with people and getting a glimpse of them from every angle: mental, physical, and emotional. And I'm lucky enough to have the ability and opportunity to promote change on ALL of these levels; this is the beauty of holistic medicine. The physical part is relatively easy to shift for many issues: come in with pain, leave with less (or ideally, none.) The inside stuff? Well, that's not as simple.

It is human nature to label and define, to put things into neat, comfortable, understandable packages. The human mind often shuns what can't be understood through the lens of consciousness. This being the case, it's far too easy for us to get tied up and restrained by our own self-definitions. I hear it all the time: "I'm an overachiever." "I'm lazy." "I'm just not a healthy person, and I've never been." "I'm a typical stressed-out mom."

You may be all of these things, but we are all SO much more than that. And we can change our lives simply by realizing the potential that we have to shift away from our self-given labels. People always say that the only certainties in life are death and taxes, but I'd like to add one more to the list: change. Life is an ebb and flow; you can choose to float along with it, or struggle to stay in the same place and allow yourself to sink. It's all up to you. But I've seen the aftermath of struggling against the tide, and it's not pretty. I have treated so many people who simply can't face the idea of living outside of their labels. Nothing is forever. Jobs end. Kids grow up. People who stay in a perpetual state of stress burn out. Self-proclaimed lazy people eventually reach a point where they focus on all they are lacking. NOTHING is forever, including the neat, defined package of who you are. So embrace the concept of change, and if you don't like your label, banish it. You created it; you can tear it down and build anew. Easy? Hell, no. But anything worth having is worth working for, isn't it?