Who are you – on the inside? Fill in the blank I am ______, and it cannot be things you do, labels you wear, or roles you play. It’s difficult for most of us to do, difficult to see ourselves outside of the roles we play, the jobs we do, the labels we or others have attached to us. We are more than mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, businessmen and women, doctors, laborers, white, black, gay, straight or the many other designations of current society.
There is a beautiful, meditative song by India Arie called “I Am Light”. Its simplicity gives clarity to who we truly are. One of the verses says,
“I’m not the mistakes that I have made
Or any of the things that caused me pain
I am not the pieces of the dream I left behind, I am light”
And, it is so true. Too often we define ourselves by mistakes, pain, and shattered dreams. We measure ourselves against impossible standards and fall miserably short. We see ourselves through the eyes of others who make their own mistakes, endure their own pain, and live among the pieces of their shattered dreams and we somehow believe they are more and we are less. The reality is none of us are less, we are light.
“I am not the things my family did
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside, I am light”
Is it fair to be held accountable for things we did not ourselves do? Of course not, and yet we all know people whose families and ancestors have been held accountable for acts committed years, sometimes centuries ago. What about the teachings of the church, that all of humanity is born in a state of sin because of the decisions of the first humans? What is the point of free-will if the expectation is to live in a state of perfection? We learn more from our failures in life than our successes.
And what about the voices and brokenness inside? Voices instilled by others telling us who we should be instead of appreciating who we are, voices telling us we are worthless, unimportant, the collective cacophony of voices beating our spirits into submission until we are no longer able to rise from the ashes. We are not what the voices say, we are not the brokenness, we are light.
“I am divinity defined
I am the God on the inside
I am a star, a piece of it all
I am light”
There was a time when I was offended to hear we are God, believing it somehow sacrilege. What are we if God is not on the inside? Our very souls were made alive by the breath of God, we are extensions of the Divinity of God and therefore a spark among the billions of other God-breathed sparks. We are light.
The answer to the question, “Who are you on the inside?” We are all light…..