Being Me

“We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves (…) never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are.”Pema Chödrön

About a year ago I was invited to join a women’s discussion group. I look forward with great pleasures to meeting each month. Although we have much in common, we are each and all very different and approach life from varied enough positions to make any topic of conversation fascinating.

As we end each meeting we agree on the next topic,  A couple of months ago I suggested a question of how we would each like to be remembered. I missed that discussion but read several emails that questioned the question.

“Remembered by whom?” was the common theme.

Although we sometimes veer widely off the anticipated course I doubt we will revisit this when we meet again, so I have been mulling it over in my mind. My thoughts have led me down several paths.

Finally, though, my friends’ inquiries make me think of my younger years when I was a different person according to whose company I kept. I was sparkling and fun-loving with my friends. Slightly risque. Around my family I was dutiful and loving, although still bursting out as the family clown. I probably had it broken down into even finer groups at the time. I know that I was uncomfortable with my friends in the same room with my parents.  I couldn’t decide who I should be when they were all together.

Acknowledgment of this weird fracturing was the first step on my path toward myself. I have not arrived.  I am still peeling off the layers of others’ expectations (sometimes imagined) of me. I am shedding behaviors designed to gain approval and to avoid disapproval. I am peeking out into my world of clarity and ease.

In moments of being myself I am at peace. I can feel joy. I experience love.

And so my question…how do I want to be remembered?…becomes the question of who I think I am beneath it all. Who do I hope I am?  If Pema is right, I can no longer question who I want to be. Beneath it all I am already my true self.

Perhaps the question should always be…how do I find me? It’s a spin on the seemingly trite question that we have been asking since our teens…Who am I?

Not so trite, after all.



  1. Mother, when you dis-cover the answer to that question “Who am I?” you are free and questions like how I want to be remembered stop being irrelevant.

    I would like to be remembered as the guy who laughed his way to his death. My son promises that it will be my obituary notice.


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