One of my all-time favourite movie scenes is in the family film ‘Secondhand Lions’
Here the question is asked “Who do you think you are?” And the answer in this scene is powerful.
Our identity and self-worth is attached to our beliefs. We label ourselves as parent, conservative, funny, a nationality, artistic, risk taker, disorganized, this religion, no religion… so many identities to choose from.
And then we live our lives based on our perceptions of these labels. They provide a baseline from which to respond to life. But these labels can be just words in our heads. Our identities are stories we create and we get hooked on the emotions they create; passion, anger, resentment, acceptance, excitement… All based on how we or others see us, is this really us?
What would happen if we shifted our current position and changed the view slightly? Is a different identity possible if we let go, for a second, of our labels and restricting beliefs? Perhaps you were 5 when someone told you were “always aggressive – just like your uncle Tom”, and since then you lived up to the image. ?
Perhaps you identify yourself with your politics, or economic position and have never tried looking at the world through another lens? This entrenchment to your “view” of ourselves impacts every relationship we have (money, people, environment) From this position, we evaluate and give meaning to ourselves, others and the ideas we encounter. When the “view” fits with our “story” we accept it, when it conflicts we reject, potentially limiting our world and constricting our relationships.
Viewing the world, ourselves and others from a new perspective opens options, we have choices in how we respond.
What if I were …?