It’s not “you do you.” It’s “you be you.”
As the world deals with the pandemic, many people are suffering from loss of their sense of purpose that went the way of their job or their lifestyle. Without those reasons to get up in the morning, to interact with the people they are used to seeing regularly, to belong in a place where they have someone looking forward to them showing up, they are left with no meaning.
For many of us, our purpose is found in our doing (rather than in our being). So when our doing is interfered with (through illness or injury), or ended (through divorce, death, loss of work, or other “planet shift” like the Covid-19 virus), we suddenly find ourselves with no meaning. Lack of purpose and meaning leads to depression, which can slide down into despair.
Having our purpose tied to some external fact is precarious. Facts can (and do) change. For example, the successful entrepreneur who’s worth and value is tied up in his or her business success can be destroyed if the business fails or when the business is sold or when the person retires. The woman who’s worth and value is tied up in her good looks, can be destroyed if her attractiveness diminishes with age or as a result of a terrible accident. The person who’s self-esteem is intrinsically woven into his or her high level of intelligence is left with a sense of loss when their cognitive function fails through disease, age, or unfortunate mishap.
For others of us, our purpose and meaning is found in our being—our authentic identity. We know that our worth and value isn’t tied up in our work, our reputation, or in whatever else we have lost.
We are secure in our being regardless of what we do (or are no longer able to do). We know that we are the same people as we were before the “planet shift.” We know that the substance of our identity is still intact regardless of how the external facts may change. And they will change.
We know that although our looks will change and our financial status may fluctuate, we still have the same character traits, values, personalities, and perspectives that we had before and that we are still able to do what our authentic identity equips us to do, perhaps in a different capacity and setting, as we did before.
So, be your authentic self. Do what comes easily to you for someone who needs what you know how to do, right where you are.
Remember that you are NOT defined by:
What you have lost
The job you no longer have
Money (whether you have it or you don’t)
The people you no longer have in your life
The ugly things people have said to you or about you
The people who disagree with you
Or any other external circumstances.
You ARE defined by:
Your good character traits, like resilience, perseverance, and courage.
Your personality, including your sense of humor and your perspective
Your strengths, like the ability to encourage others, analyze complicated issues, connect others, or the other things that come easily to you.
Your natural talents
Your values and beliefs
The issues that you care deeply about
The way you express love and concern
And all the other intrinsic “assets” that combine to make up the unique-in-all-the- world person that is YOU.
YOU BE YOU, and you will survive and thrive because you have a good purpose and a place in the world.
Rhonda Sciortino spent decades trying to prove that she was worthy of the air she was breathing and the space she took up on planet Earth. She people-pleased, over-worked, over-gave, and she learned that when you have to work to earn a relationship, you'll have to work to keep the relationship. Rhonda now knows that she's not defined by who likes her or doesn't. She knows who she is because she recognizes and celebrates those things that truly define her. She hopes you do the same.