I recently read an article written by Christine Hassler. Although she did not write the article specifically for the brain injury community, the article is very applicable to our community. Regardless of whether you consider yourself a survivor, caregiver, or something else, this post is for you.
In her article, Christine Hassler asks “who are you?” She then states “If you are like 99% of the people I speak to, you most likely answered by listing the roles you play in life, or even the labels you’ve acquired to identify yourself based on where you are from or what you’ve been through. For example: I am an actor, a lawyer, a wife, a son, a student, a procrastinator, an addict, a teacher, a role model, have ADD, a graduate from xyz school, a 29-year-old, a Texan, Jewish, Christian, Latin, a cancer survivor, and so on and so on. The list is endless in terms of how we identify ourselves. But roles we play, things we do, cultures we come from, or labels we put on ourselves are NOT accurate answers to the question of who I am.”
I share her belief that who you are is not what you have accomplished in the past, it is not what you are currently doing, and it is not what you plan to achieve in the future. You are not your interests or hobbies. You are not a survivor, caregiver, doctor, surgeon, nurse, social worker, or therapist. Your condition, role, or job does not define who you are. You are not your age, height, weight, gender, marital status, sexual preference, birthplace, religion, GPA, IQ, or EQ.
The purpose of this post is to help you answer the question “who are you?” rather than the question “who aren’t you?” Christine Hassler mentions that the following instructions help many people answer the question correctly:
- Think about something you love doing.
- Think about the qualities you feel while you are doing whatever it is you love doing.
Christine Hassler notes that she loves “facilitating and coaching people and when I’m doing it, I am compassionate, inspired, creative, committed, generous, connected, sensitive, authentic, playful, thoughtful, giving, present, inquisitive, wise, nurturing, feminine and loving. THAT is who I am. I am not a coach and speaker; those are just the FORMS my essence takes.”
What activities do you really enjoy doing? What qualities do you feel while you are doing the things you enjoy? Who are you? How can understanding who you are help you find employment? How can understanding who you are help you plan a better future? How can understanding who you are help you interact with other people, some of whom may not know who they are?
Source: An article written by Christine Hassler inspired me to write this post.