Our things. A job. A title. Our body. Image. Our mind. Thoughts.
What do you think makes us, us?
Yes, we look a certain way. We have certain things. We think certain thoughts. But, do those form who we are? I'm in the midst of reading an insightful and thought-provoking book, and what I read this morning over coffee was a bit of a breadcrumb chapter:
Body vs. Mind. The Body will eat until it is satisfied. But the Mind makes us continue to eat. Our Body needs simple covering when it's too hot or too cold. But the Mind looks in the closet and declares, "I have nothing to wear." The Mind thinks it IS the Body, or the hand, or hair, or whatever. It thinks it's the physical 'thing.' But, then the Mind says, "Am I not the hand? If my hand is cut off... I am still me. So, then I am not the hand." When you take away 'things,' what is remaining is what you really are. It's when you shed the things you think make up your personal story, your identity, and what makes you feel safe, that you finally are able to understand what you really are. You are not just 'body' because you can function without your body. And not your 'beliefs' as those were passed on to you from family and society even before you were born.Why 'breadcrumb'? I have my master file of my photography that I'd kept backed-up on an external HD. And being a photographer, I identify myself with those items. The photos. There's a comfort in knowing that I have those items. They showcase me as 'a photographer'. I'm also a packrat, so I keep everything. But those photos are part of 'me.' Or that's what it feels like.
They are currently missing.
Close to 4,000 photos dating back to 1995 are simply missing. France, holidays, my grandparents, random road trips, Sunrises, Inauguration, my niece's first days in this world last January.
A few weeks ago, I was transferring files onto a new drive. The old one went on the fritz, and suddenly these photos disappeared. Someone who handles these things, is currently looking into recovering these images for me. Should know something early this week. I'm teetering emotionally between anxious and denial.
But in reading this chapter this morning, I also realize that those photos are not me. Think of Haiti. Of New Orleans. These items are things. The do not constitute 'us.' Losing them does not change who we are, or endanger our lives. They are comfortable because they hold memories. They showcase our talents. But they are not us.
If they are recovered. I will be very, very happy. I will then immediately back up 'the back-up'. But if they are not recovered, I will still back up 'the back-up' from here forward. Perhaps cry for a few days and then move on with life. Either way, lesson learned.
When we get stripped of the things we think identify us, a funny thing happens, we realize we are still 'us.'
©2010 Wendy Hudgins