Who am I?
Haven’t got a clue! In fact no-one really does. No-one can claim to know with certainty who you are or I am. People can, and do, give their opinions, which are based on personal beliefs, which ultimately are not rooted in any one truth. It might be easier to answer the question what is not me? The thoughts and feelings I experience are not who I am; my fears, insecurities, ambitions, goals and desires are not who I am; the successes and failures I have experienced are not who I am; the roles I play in life such as partner, friend, father, coach, teacher etc are not who I am; the name Eoin McCabe is not who I am…..so who the hell am I?? It is easier to define the self in terms of what we are not than what we are….in fact when you break it all down you may discover that there is in fact nothing there – the self, me, consists of nothing!
Anyway, maybe lets just agree for now that no one knows for sure the true nature of who we are. And yet each day we still get out of bed and go about our daily routines, we eat, we talk, we walk and we work, we moan, we laugh, we cry and we dream, we read, we listen, we argue and we sleep. Our days are busy and full of noise, for one who does not know what or who they are we manage pretty ok most of the time. This is because we can agree on the more tangible and simpler ideas such as that expressed by British paediatrician, D.W. Winnicott “It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self”.
Playing is something that comes effortlessly to us as children and as we grow up we lose this ease for play. All day everyday is play time for young children, even 6am is for crying out loud!! How do we manage to lose our sense of play, our connection with fun and joy as we get older? Where does it say that as we age we must become more serious, more practical, more ‘sensible’ and ‘mature’?
Were you ever told to ‘act your age’?
How does a 43 year old man act that age and how is it different to a 45 year old man or a 22 year old woman or a 97 year old woman. Are there certain criteria we must comply with that dictate how one must behave at each age of life? If not then how are we supposed to know if we are acting our age or not? Who sets the standards and who is monitoring our performance? I am getting a little stressed now so let me take a moment to meditate and find my inner peace…………………
To tell someone to act their age is one of the most stupid lines you can deliver to a person, it is right up there with ‘I think, therefore I am’….what he really should have said was ‘I think, therefore I am stressed’.
We do not need to think about play, we do not need to analyse or debate about how to have fun. Simply choosing to have playtime in our days brings us more joy, more love, more spontaneous creativity which in turn feeds the desire for more play and in time life becomes a playground filled with children pretending to be grown ups – we are all children at heart trying to appear serious, responsible and all grown up – so lighten up, smile, laugh, see the funny side…..being serious makes everything way too hard.