Be a Nobody
What do I mean by ‘be a nobody’? Everyone wants to be a someone, right? Isn’t that a good thing?
I’m not talking about being without drive or purpose. What I’m talking about is not having a position to defend. It doesn’t matter what other people think or do or say. What’s important is what we think, do, and say. Only we can affect our lives. Only we can change ourselves, and we cannot change anybody else.
At the end of the day, words are just that: words. They only have the power we give them. If I’m always trying to protect myself, or my sense of who I am, I can’t ever be truly there for anyone else. When you get right down to it, being a somebody is a selfish way to live. I’m always going to be holding back in an attempt at self-preservation.
In doing that, I miss the essential tenet that the more we give, the more we get. Life is far easier once we relax and stop fighting. We have more energy to put into the important stuff, and end up with more drive and purpose than ever before. With the core difference that we don’t identify ourselves with a particular role or way of being.
This is incredibly freeing. Had I identified strongly with my job as being who I was when I lost my leg and everything changed, I would have been in a real mess. My whole identity would have been lost along with my limb. That’s no way to live. It’s far easier to be a nobody. Being a nobody means I get to be everybody. I don’t have to live my life trapped in a box.
When it comes right down to it, we are who we tell ourselves we are. We make up our story. Nobody else can do that for us. Even if we have people around us telling this and saying that; we have to repeat those things to ourselves for them to become our reality.
For years, I suffered from serious lack of self-esteem. I believed what I’d been told for years. Not until I recognised that I’d turned from victim to perpetrator—from hearing the negativity to feeding that negativity to myself—could I do anything about it. First, I had to see the stories I told myself, and then I had to learn to see them without judging them. Only at that point, could I stop telling those lies to myself.
I’m a stronger person for it. I no longer have an unconfident ‘me’ to defend. I am content and confident enough to be a nobody. We have to watch with care the stories we tell ourselves. Choose your world with care. After all, that’s what makes our lives what they are. In the wise words of zen:
‘We make our own world and then we live in it.’
If you missed last week’s Monday Musing, you can find it HERE