Have you ever asked yourself that question? Maybe you framed it differently. Perhaps, What now? What next? Or one of many variations on the question.
It is a sudden realization that “me”, the inner self, is not a label.
What happens to “me” if a label suddenly doesn’t apply anymore?
If you are a husband or wife, what happens to “me” if your spouse is gone – divorce or death stripping you of that label? What happens to “me” if you feel that particular label is your overarching label?
The same for any relationship label really. Parent, Child, BFF, etc. Really embracing, not just intellectually, that all labels shift, morph, and end, makes us ask the title question. Where is the rest of me?
The same is true for other labels. Your vocation or your avocation can make you attach too strongly to a label. I used to have a dual vocational label. And those two labels were worlds apart, but I was extremely happy in both. I enjoyed being a Technical Infrastructure Specialist, constantly exploring and soaking in the ever changing world of technology. And I enjoyed being a Yoga Teacher sharing the benefits of Yoga with all the beautiful Folks I met.
But the time came when I had to choose between them. The time and the attention they both required made keeping both impossible. They both pulled at me.
And you all know which one I chose. 😊
But sometimes I still feel a longing for the lost label. Even though I let it go willingly, the question pops up. Where is the rest of me? For someone who involuntarily has their vocation label ripped away, when they lose their job for whatever reason, how rough must that be?
In all cases, working toward an understanding that there is more to each of us than all our different types of labels is so important. Just as an exercise, try to call up all the labels that you identify yourself with. Imagine them gone?!?!
The 10,000 things of the world put those labels on us, and the more we learn to periodically distance ourselves from the 10,000, the more we think outside them by going inside, the closer we get to enjoying pure self … just being.
We are more than just our labels. So, it is a good question to ask.