We are often defined by what it is that we do. Now that my role is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, I don’t think that really defines me. Come to think of it, I’ve always had a problem with being asked what my job is. What I do is so much greater than my ‘job.’ Here is a another area where it is easier to categorize, classify, sort, delineate and define someone by something external from themselves. Some people do work they do not care for, so should their job still be judged as a reflection of themselves? Then I think about all the people I have taught with over the years and how much variance I’ve seen in personality, aptitude and approach to the very same role. So why do we try to define someone by what they do?
In pondering how we come together with other people, I started to think about how it is that we come to know each other. In a way, all we can do is infer, gathering data through clues over a span of time. The longer the ‘study’ the clearer the results. What people say, how they act, tone of voice, body language, and what they do…all action. It is at the point of action that we have a chance to express ourselves and where we have the opportunity to try and understand another. Sometimes our actions are misinterpreted and our intent does not come across. But then I think of all the times that I can get a sense of someone or a situation before spending much time with it. I feel this connection reflects my mammalian instinct and skill that I rarely call upon. I use these instincts along with my logical mind to piece together my version of reality. This is a skill I’m trying to hone since I would love to be able to trust my instincts more. Through many means we are taught not to trust our inner voice within our culture. Ironically, it is my instinctual understanding of the world that has more likelihood of providing a truer picture of reality.
So, if action is the portal where our separate realities can collide, then it makes me consider how important my actions are. How am I meeting the world with what I do, and is it in line with how I want to be perceived? I cannot change how my actions are perceived, but I can change what it is that I’m doing. In an effort to maintain integrity, I try to think very carefully about how it is that I interact. How do I spend my time? How do I spend my money? How do I make my money? How do I treat those around me? How do I treat myself? And ultimately, how do my actions reflect my inner experience, or do they miss the mark? Being honest with myself is the only way I can present any level of honesty to the world.