Do you know…

…who you are?

I’ve been doing some serious reading and reflecting this weekend and thought I’d share my musings.

It all started with The Storyteller  by Jodi Picoult, one of my favourite authors. She takes the simple question “What would you do?” and applies it to dilemmas we all face but don’t want to.

The Storyteller looks at forgiveness by going back to The Holocaust and telling stories from both sides.

I read the tale from the SS soldier’s point of view. He committed so many atrocities and lost himself amongst them. He drank to forget the man he was forcing himself to be. I think that might ring a bell for many people.

That doesn’t mean I understand where he was coming from and certainly doesn’t excuse what he did…it just shows that when you lose sight of who you really are, expect the worst.

I then started reading The Diary of Anne Frank, a book I’ve not read since my own teenage years. I heartily recommend it to everyone. Not only to remind ourselves about what happened but to read about Anne’s discovery of herself.

So many of her diary entries rang bells for me. The depression, the lack of understanding and support from others, the intense and impulsive emotions. Most of all, the two sides of her that nobody fully saw or appreciated in her short lifetime.

Anne knew she was wearing a mask and acting how other people thought she should. Inside she struggled with herself for nearly 2 years. She finally came to a full understanding of her nature…and was then captured and died.

Her own father, on reading her diary, was amazed at the Anne he saw portrayed compared to the Anne he thought he knew.

How many people would say the same about you?

I’m not sure if there’s a neat and tidy conclusion to these musings. All I know is that I’m taking a long, hard look at myself and making sure I know exactly who I am…and making damn sure I’m proud of that person. Life’s too short to not be true to yourself.

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