Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Who We Are Versus Who We Want to Be


From Be*Mused by way of the Calico Cat, a quote from Peter Walsh that he made to a woman on Oprah who was drowning in cookbooks and supplies she never used, in response to her telling Peter that she always intended to do more serious baking.

This is not who you ARE, but who you want to BE.

If you are Peter Walsh, this is probably the go-ahead to start chucking the cookbooks and supplies, and letting go of the desire to be someone you "aren't".

Or is it?

I tend to disagree, at least in part.

Perhaps this should be viewed as a signpost, pointing to your deepest dreams rather than a castle in the sky to be torn down without a second thought!

I'm all for uncluttering one's life and eradicating unnecessary items, for stripping away things that do not fit one's ideal vision of their lives. But who is to say that the person one wants to be is something that can never be attained?

Everyone lives in a state of denial, denying themselves the things they most want because limiting beliefs, negative past programming, and subconscious counter intentions tell them that they don't deserve it, they don't have the skills/talents, it's a waste of time/money/energy, it's extravagant, it's frivolous, it's too hard, it's too easy—and so on. We all have programming along these lines, particular to our own cases, thanks to our upbringing and what we've been exposed to throughout our lives.

But we will occasionally get nudges, glimpses into a better, brighter world, a world we want very much to trade up to and live within.

Maybe for the cookbook woman, the idea of being a more serious baker was the answer to a call coming from her soul telling her that her destiny is to BE a baker. Or a cookbook author. Or a network food chef. Or something related.

Maybe for her, it's the signpost pointing toward her deepest unrealized dream. Her destiny.

Or, perhaps it's a response to feelings of self-worth. Maybe she's trying to make up for someone in her life who failed to meet expectations. Maybe her mother wasn't "there" for her growing up, and she saw other mothers who baked for their families, and associated baking with love and nurturing. Maybe she feels a deep-rooted need to either fill the void in her own life that was created by her mother's ignorance of that role by going above and beyond expectations for her own family. Maybe she needs to bake to prove to herself that she's a better Mother/Wife/Nurturer than her own mother was. I'm speculating, of course. But it would make sense.

In the first instance, it would be wholly unwise for the woman to be told to chuck out her supplies and give up on trying to be that person. In this instance, she would be practicing even further denial of her own TRUTH. Instead, she should be encouraged to find out why she has been avoiding it, and work to overcome the limiting beliefs that are blocking her—then make "serious baking" a priority in her life. Begin to live the life that she's dreaming of.

In the second instance, it would be beneficial and life-altering for the woman to let go of the supplies, if she has also become aware of the beliefs that lead her there, and lets go of them at the same time. In this instance, letting go would bring about healing and allow her to see the rise of her own true self.

I suppose my response is not as simple as "No, that's wrong" or "Yes, that's correct". My response would be that one must go further than just saying "Oh, that's just who you want to be, but you're not, so let it go". One must delve deeply into their own psyche and find the reasons WHY they want to be this other person. Only then can they make a sound decision to allow themselves to BE the person they want to be, or to let that person go so that they can realize their own true dreams.

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At 8:35 PM, February 27, 2008, Blogger The Calico Cat said...

Great response... My own mother was a dabbler - macramae (how the heck do you spell that) to crochet...

Maybe I am too...

At 2:17 AM, February 28, 2008, Blogger Nettie said...

Interesting essay. Been thinking about this question myself a bit lately and i think i agree with your conclusion.


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