How Do You Define Yourself?

One’s essential nature is what we are born with and then conditions happen and in absorbing them we make meaning out of them. The meaning we make begins to define us.

It is easier to see when a small child becomes sick.

In defining ourselves and being defined by others there are active and static components we deal with. If our essential natures are steady but the meaning of our lives can change, then it is important to understand and know our own essential nature in order to successfully define ourselves.

Nobody’s essential nature is “being sick.” Although being sick can take up a lot of time, I know it is a mistake to let “being sick” become the meaning of anybody’s life.

It is a mistake we have some power to control. Essential natures include realities like truth, beauty, kindness, compassion and love, and not the conditions that arise from life’s circumstances like pain, lies, hate, cruelty and ugliness.

One’s essential nature is what we are born with and then conditions happen and in absorbing them we make meaning out of them. The meaning we make begins to define us.

It is easier to see when a small child becomes sick.

Sophie was three years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. We were close with her parents and baby brother and had held her often when she was a round, bouncing baby, as all babies are. Sophie and her family fought a good fight against leukemia and her sickness was never allowed to become the meaning of her life. She had a sweet and spicy personality and even when angry from the pain and struggle over years, she didn’t lash out at her family but only at the disease she was fighting. “I hate leukemia!” She told her mom. Towards the end we visited the family at home after Sophie had been permanently released from the hospital. She had a kitten even though her dad was highly allergic. The Make a Wish foundation had granted her wish for this kitten and they even paid for her Daddy’s allergy medicine. We hung out with Sophie and her family as she lay in a bed and periodically pushed the button on the port attached to her stomach and released pain medicine. Her mom was in the kitchen making food and when I joined her to see if I could be of help she said, ‘Isn’t this unreal?”  I hugged her and said, “Nope. This is as real as life gets.” She died when she was five and she still was that perfect bouncing baby within her ravaged body. The meaning of Sophie was so much stronger than the disease.

Sophie and her family effected me at the time and continue to affect me to this day.

Joseph Campbell wrote, “Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it.”

If “being sick” is defining your life, understand there are ways to change that, and you hold the power.

Read more of Michelle’s blogs at Taos News Online.

Spread the Love

Be the first to reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *