A friend of mine recently made a decision; a decision that has had significant ramifications for people in their life. It was a hard decision, not easily reached. They have been much criticised by those around them. Judged. Labelled.
Sometimes people view our actions, what we do, as a proxy for who we are. Maybe the smaller actions or behaviours go unnoticed, unacknowledged, but often the larger decisions or actions get assigned to our identity, through judgement. “He is a liar…” or “She is untrustworthy …”
In fact we are so much more than one choice, one decision, one action. There is so much more complexity, subtlety, richness in our humanity, in ‘the self’.
We can do this to ourselves too. Maybe you have done something and then reflected that wasn’t me, that was a bit out of character? Maybe you have done something and then judged yourself with a label too … “I’m stupid…” or “I’m a bad person…”
Making a mistake doesn’t make you stupid. Hurting someone doesn’t make you a bad person.
These judgements ignore context, they narrow our identity to one action, they lessen our humanity and they limit our potential. None of us is perfect, yet we are all perfectly human.
What we do, isn’t who we are. We are always so much more than one behaviour, action or choice. Sometimes we confuse these two. Separate them. Notice what you do and be curious about your motivations and rewards. But also notice who you are; the breadth, depth, richness and magic of you.