“When the day comes that I must account for my life, I will not be asked: ‘Why weren’t you Moses?’ I was not equipped to be Moses. But I dread the question, ‘Why weren’t you Zusia?’
—Reb Zusia of Anipoli
This is a famous Jewish quote that had made a big impression on me and had shaped my thinking quite a bit.
It throws us back to one of the most frightening yet also most empowering questions of all time.
Who am I?
All too often we define ourselves through others or external measurement. We want to be like a famous film star or a powerful leader that we adore, or we crave the fame of the most adorable kid in high school. Or we think we can only feel satisfied if we made a million dollars. It seems that we can only experience our own existence in comparison with others.
- Do I make more or less money than my coworkers?
- How do I look compared to my neighbor or the sexy woman down the street?
- How are my grades in school compared to the best / average grade?
Do we really only exist and can therefore feel ourselves, if we compare ourselves to others? Our whole society and our thinking processes are based on comparison and competition. But from this thinking direction what we totally forget and neglect is our own focus.
Better questions that will lead you to experience your own inner core are:
- How do I feel?
- What do I really want? (Not necessarily what you think you want, because you were conditioned to go for millionaire status, sexy abdomen or all other signs of prestige or status)
- What would make me feel happy, alive and vibrant?
Because we lost touch with experiencing our own inner core, we try to compensate this inner feeling of happiness through acquiring things, gaining the recognition of others – but it is all a search for what would really make us feel complete.
By focusing on comparing with others we are constantly drifting away from experiencing the answer of who we really are?
We are outside of any comparison!
Looking for Idols
You can see this in a perverted form in TV series like „American Idol“ … where young people try to be like their adored idols. They try to copy as good as possible what they supposed would make them happy. And society at first glance seems to gratify that with all the media attention and (possible) fame and money that might accompany this. Yet we all have seen so many people who were forgotten so quickly from those shows, because they were lacking something that they weren’t prepared to develop – Uniqueness.
You see, that’s the ironic dilemma of today’s society. It proclaims being a good follower (that means being a copy of someone else imagined behavior model) as the way to become happy while at the same time beating you for it by giving fame and fortune only to those who have „the edge“ (that means they weren’t following what everyone else did and therefore are unique).
But aren’t only those young people on TV shows affected? No. They are only representing a theme that we all have in common. It is our search for defining ourselves. We want to be unique by nature because that is what we were designed and destined to be. However since we don’t trust in ourselves and are afraid of being rejected from acceptance of our society, we settle for something far less – being common, following the standard path and behaving as others want us to behave.
Now I don’t want you to go out on the street and rebel against society. Society is just a mirror of your own inner condition. Yes you might disturb some people by changing and becoming more authentic, but then that only shows that they feel threatened by someone expressing authenticity simply because they are reminded of their own suppressed uniqueness. And being rejected by people is a common price to pay for uniqueness.
Are you ready to pay that price in order to become more like you?
The power (and danger) of role models
Now don’t get me wrong, there is a positive power in role models. But only by accepting their and our own uniqueness, and not by wanting to be like them. Whenever we say things like:
- „If only …“
- „If I would be like …“
We are giving our own power away to a picture we created from our own role model. Therefore we diminish our chance to becoming exactly what we wanted to become in the first place – a unique human being.
Isn’t it true, that we adore people, who were going against the norm, defining their own world? Well, society loves and hates those people at the same time, that is why the media loves them at the beginning and haunts them just some weeks later.
Someone who is presenting his uniqueness to much is at first attractive to us but after a while we feel threatened in our commonality by someone who reminds us of our suppressed dreams and talents.
Trusting your own inner voice
So every day we should strive to get out of this vicious circle by reminding ourselves that we only have a short amount of time here on earth to express our uniqueness.
I don’t know if you have any spiritual connection with whatever you believe in, but knowing that I came here with a promise to become the best possible expression of myself and using my innate talents as best as possible is something that feels painful at times – when we feel like we are wasting our resources in the wrong job, the wrong relationship, etc. But this frustration is only there to remind us, that there is something that wants to be really experienced and that is – YOURSELF.
You don’t need to do extraordinary things like climbing Mt. Everest or going to Tibet to experience yourself, you can do it in the little things. The way you walk, speak, communicate with others, sing, dance, enjoy nature – whenever you’ll get in connection with yourself, you will feel much lighter and vibrant.
The best sign that you are in this state is, when you feel a warm smile in your whole body.
Have you ever experienced a whole body smile? It is not only your mouth but every cell that is vibrating with radiant joy, so much, that you could nearly cry because you feel so good insight. If you haven’t than this is something you should strive to experience by experiencing more of yourself in the future.
Remember God or the Universe doesn’t like clones or copies – SO DARE TO BE YOU! So that at the end of your journey you can answer the question of who you are with just 2 words, that would express everything.