When I was a little girl, my parents and my best friend’s parents used to ask all of us kids at the dinner table the same two questions “Who are you? When you say “I”, who is that?” We all had very little idea of what they were talking about (we were only 3,4 and 5 years old!) but as I grew older and became a student of Buddhism, I learned that the person I refer to as “I” has many layers. Layers upon layers of decisions that I created of who “I” should be, how “I” should act, rules of how “I” should live my life based on other people’s rules of how they thought they should live theirs, and how “I” should relate to others. But what happens when I peel away all the layers? Who am I then?
What does it mean to be the most basic, authentic form of myself? What does that look like? Is there even a way to act? No acting, just being. Right? And how do “I” function in this world just being me? If I’ve created all these layers, I think that means I have the power to take them away or even create new ones if I choose. That’s some pretty wild stuff.
Who are you?