You are what you are because of others: A self reflection on relationships

I don’t know why but I started this morning by thinking back to a moment in my past when a 14 year relationship was ending, but for some reason it just popped into mental thought.  The person who I was involved with then, stated to me “if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be who you are today,” as we concluded our affairs and went separate ways.  At first, I was a little angry about this statement.  I thought to myself “well you egocentric so-and-so, this has been my life and life has made me who I am.”  Those words have just stuck with me this past 12 years and I find myself reflecting over them from time to time.

Tis the case for the morning.

I wondered about what really makes us who we are.  Do people?  Events? Our parents? Our position in life? Poverty? Riches? Where we live? Who we know?  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there.  In my opinion all of it matters.  The imprints of the vast melting of all of it makes us who we are.  We start out in this life a clean slate, a little tiny baby with no knowledge of what goes on here, in mother Earth.  Things around us put their mark on our clean little board (metaphorically speaking) and our minds take those marks and analysis them, throwing out what we disagree with and keeping those things that seem to work.

As we grow older, we find that re-evaluating those marks from time to time, gives us a fresh, new perspective about our life.  Today, I finally came to the realization that what this person said wasn’t so egocentric at all.  He was right, he did have a hand in making me who I am today.  For instance, I learned that being a doormat for him wasn’t very pleasant, and in coming to that realization, I developed a very independent nature and finally got a clue about standing up for myself.  I don’t take disrespect from anyone anymore.  His presence, while not always positive in my life, had a profound effect on me.  So, yes,  he did have a hand in making me who I am today and for that, I am grateful.

Life holds many lessons, and what or who crosses our paths will always leave some imprint on our lives.  They help make us who we are.  The greater challenge is discovering what impact they had.  Whether it is a person across the street, or individuals across the sea, we all have things we can learn from each other.  Remember you are who you are because of those around you.

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