World, view me like a car.
Mark the freckles on my cheeks, the strands of hair on my head.
Write down my make and model number: A 1989 Scandinavian female.
Put me in a Blue Book search and note my estimated value. And don’t leave out any of my bells and whistles, please. I paid extra for that 20/300 vision.
You think you know what I have, world…
And in many ways, you got the facts correct.
But what you may not know, world, is that what I have is not who I am.
Telling me that I am what I have is like saying that I am the contents of my pockets or glove box or laundry hamper.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
But maybe we’ve forgotten who we are, and in the process of forgetting, clung to the things we have because we can see them, feel them, hide or manipulate them.
You have a lot of stuff in life.
You have a lot of stuff, but you are not the things you have.
These things are part of you -some more lasting than others- but they are not you. You are not quantifiable.
I can tell you this:
I have blond hair, but I am not my blond hair.
I have a pants size, but I am not a measurement.
I have an address, but I am not a location.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
You could do the same for yourself.
You could write a list that would overflow the pages of those journals that you’ve stowed on your bookshelf but rarely use.
You have pages that are scribbled and scratched with scars and love and hopes.
And you have pages yet to fill in your story, too.
But you are not those things, my friend.
Trust me, you are so much more than what you have.
This next week, you’ll be hearing stories of “I have, not I am” from several brave and beautiful women who have offered to pull back the curtain.
I pray you receive their words with respect and that you may also begin to see yourself as more than the things you carry or the items on your resume.
If you would like to share your story of “I have, not I am,” feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org