The question of “Who am I ?” is one of the core questions pondered upon in the field of psychology. Today, I want to explore this question. I want to know what this “I” is all about.
The answer to the question of “Who Am I?” needs to create a cycle that folds into itself. The answer is not correct if it fails to keep going as it meets itself in the middle. Here is what I mean: water exists in three states. These are solid, liquid, and gas. These states work in a cycle where water from ocean evaporates…then it condenses…then it falls down in the form of water (liquid) or snow (solid). If I was to ask, “What is water?”, the answer needs to account for the existence of this cycle. Since “I” is a state of existence, the answer in regards to the nature of this “I” needs to follow a similar pattern that cycles in order to uphold that “I” as the person goes through changes in this life. In the case of water, temperature is mostly responsible for the state of water. Yet, in the case of, “I”, the self is held together by the idea we call, “resilience”.
Let me answer the question of “WHO AM I?” and then I will explain some more:
WHO AM I?
SPEAKING TO ONE’S SELF: “I AM THAT WHICH OWNS THIS SELF AND THAT WHICH THIS SELF OWNS. HENCE, I AM THAT WHICH BELONGS TO THIS SELF AND THAT WHICH THIS SELF BELONGS TO. IN THAT, I AM THAT WHICH OWNS THE SELF THAT BELONGS TO IT AND IT BELONGS TO”.
As you see, there is an ownership that a person has over his/her self in order for him/her to be able to say “I” in regards to his/her own self. This ownership is by the self towards itself in order to produce this “I”…and in producing this “I”, the “I” takes ownership over the self as the self continue to take ownership over that “I”. This is the root of the “I” which all of us share in regards to our own self. That is the cycle that I am looking for.
Resilience is the ability of a person to maintain a constantly developing relationship between one’s self and one’s “I” after the self goes through an event that is against itself. For example, if a woman is raped, that is a major attack against her self to a point where she may stand in front of a mirror and ask herself, “Who the hell am I?” Yet if a person loses his/her pet, after some time passes, s/he will be able to overcome the sense of loss that is inflected on the self in order for them to be able to say, “I feel okay now…Am back to my old self…am back to the old me”. This ownership that one had over the lost pet becomes a part of what the self owned for itself. This ownership over a pet starts with “I”: “I am going to spend time with my pet”…”I am going to give him/her water”…. “am going to take him/her to the park”… etc etc… The more time invested on the pet, the more it starts to influence who the person is for his/her own self. When one loses that pet, the “I” (in being active with the pet) is now missing from the sense of self—one feels at loss. Resilience is the ability to take ownership back of yourself as something that has developed positively in relation to the time spent with your pet in order to be able to be you again (I will be talking about all that in later posts in regards to mental disorders).
Resilience can happen in two ways. The first is a healthy type of resilience and the second one is an unhealthy type of resilience. A healthy resilience happens when one’s sense of self has been nurtured as to be allowed to explore itself in full without control from others, without abuse, and without restraint. In that, resilience comes from the value one has towards his/her own self. Unhealthy resilience happens when one has faced abuse, control, and restraint. In that, the person finds value in his/herself due to one being deprived from his/her own self. Hence, a person tries to hold onto the smallest parts of their true selves they have in order not to lose sight of who they are. This is the type of resilience most women have today. There is a second type of unhealthy resilience: we call it stubbornness. To be stubborn is to refuse any type of change to a point where that refusal removes the necessity of one’s natural resilience. Hence, it is a conscience resilience. This resilience is responsible for the reasons why women are not able to have the healthy resilience they should have. When I say “stubbornness”, I need to be clear that I am not speaking about an individual who is acting stubborn. I am speaking about a societal system that is so unmoving to a point that it actually starts to create a stubborn behavior in the people who it benefits as it creates a deterioration of the sense of self in the people it harms. When these two sides start to pull further apart from each other, a society starts to fall apart thus creating a type of internal civil war/ terrorist groups/etc. I will be speaking more about that later as well.
To summarize: we each have a self that we own. When we own that self, we can say “I” in its regards. In having this “I”, we are owning that self and that self now owns us. This self and this I are held together as they are resilient to change due to the value one is allowed to find in his/her own self as one is allowed to be who she/he is to his/her own self.