The Subject of I
I read somewhere that the first-person pronoun is a mighty tool, and that I should use it. Earlier this year, in the Wall Street Journal, the author Lacy Crawford wrote, “Claim the ‘I’ and write the hell out of it.”
It’s too bad this subject of focusing on the “I” isn’t taught in schools starting at an early age. I don’t mean classes in how to love yourself narcissistically while putting the welfare of others behind your own. I’m talking about trusting yourself, listening to your inner voice, sharing your feelings and speaking honestly from your heart. Isn’t it unfortunate that we’re taught relentlessly how to be tough, fierce negotiators ever mindful of which side we’re fighting for? Isn’t stoic unbending behavior modeled in the world all the time?
I hope a shift is coming; a shift toward being open to creative problem solving that doesn’t pit us against each other. After all, you only have control over yourself. Being yourself is the only unique thing you will ever experience, and both our personal and business lives can benefit from that uniqueness.
Coming out on top is cold comfort when the chips are really down, when you are staring adversity in its face. So, it might be beneficial to develop a strong relationship with yourself. You spend all that time, money and energy on developing the outside of yourself. Spend as much time as you can working on the parts that make you unique: your heart, your soul and what makes you sing inside.
Stop with the arguments, the upsets, the problems, the disappointments. Stop letting others characterize you incorrectly. Get a life. Smell the roses. There is always time to appreciate the simpler things in life – how the sunlight filters through the living room window and frames the kitty in its warmth, for instance.
You are a mother, brother, student, teacher, friend, lover. You are many things to many people in this world, but you are only you to yourself. No one will ever fully get and appreciate all your idiosyncrasies and foibles. NO ONE, seriously!
We don’t have enough time to waste on things out of our control, things that don’t bring us joy, and things that deplete us of the love and compassion as we strive to grow and expand. This isn’t a dress rehearsal; this is opening night, the real deal.
This is my lesson in life to learn also.
What Moves Me
I took a long hard look recently and contemplated what moves me, incites me, and enrages me, about what is important enough to speak up for or not compromise about. For me I want to:
-stare at the brilliant ocean waves crashing in
front of me from the beach, memorizing the
glaring white foam
-inhale the sweet scent of the folds of a precious
-take a mental snapshot when Kali twists her
head back from my lap to stare lovingly into
-listen for the umpteenth time to that piece
of classical music that moves me to swoon
-feel the soothing caress of comfort from a friend
or loved one
-recreate that event or retell that story that made
me laugh so hard I nearly cried
This is my list today and it’ll probably change or grow in the future. That’s okay. It is, after all, not the list so much as the process of being the best “I” can be. What about you?