Who are you? Or, to put it another way, who do you already know you are?

I read something this week that hit me like lightning. It was this: all of us already know who we are. We do know ourselves, we know our God-given talents, we know how we can best contribute to the world.

Maybe your gift doesn’t come as a clear career path. It may seem like a small gift or a huge one.  Whatever it is, it’s your right shape. Let yourself relax and be the kind of animal you really are.

We know but don’t always see

What do you love? What comes so naturally that you hardly even notice?

We may know but we don’t always see. We take our gifts for granted and can be blind to them. We don’t know what it’s like to lack them.

What is easy for you may be extremely hard for others. We often don’t notice that, we think everyone can do these things.

Listen to what others notice in you. What do they praise you for? We get more praise for the things we’re good at and we need it less.

It’s easier not to notice

It can be easier not to recognise our gifts. If we did, we might have to do something with them, make changes, shake things up.

Really engaging with our lives can be scary. Chasing a dream isn’t safe or secure. It stirs the world up, makes it different.

Do you want to be responsible for making a difference? To be honest, sometimes I would rather eat potato chips.

The cake artist

I know a woman who seems to fight the world she works in. Her battles are full of principle, full of hurt, full of anger. And yet, she’s a nurturing creative goddess at heart.

In her spare time she makes delicious and beautiful cakes. Her designs are humourous and thoughtful. They express the essence of the person she makes them for. To receive one of her cakes is to be blessed.

I do know who I am

“I don’t know who I am” is an excuse. I’ve been using it. You have probably used it too. It’s usually not true.

So let me get real with you. I’m a writer. I’ve been a reader from my first library book. I love the magic of words, storytelling and the power of ideas. I love books. I get lost in writing.

When I’m at my day job I drink a lot of tea. I like tea but I use it excessively when I’m bored. When I write I can get lost for hours at a time. I forget to eat, I forget to wriggle.

It’s not that writing is always easy, it’s not. Some days it’s a long climb up a slippery hill. Other days it’s a clear stream running down mountains. But it’s always a great journey with interesting scenery. I love all of it.

Love, live and be yourself

Love makes you vulnerable. When you’re vulnerable you can get your heart broken. It’s safer not to love but not loving is like not living. We are meant to love and to live and to fully engage in the world.

Let it take over

So you’re scared that your cherished dream will take over your life? Let yourself be taken, give your whole heart to the mystery. Be what God and your own best self dreamed up when you were just a twinkle in the eye of time.

Ask questions

As always, I come back to questions. Ask some questions:

  • What is your natural talent?
  • What’s your gift?
  • What are you good at?
  • What activity makes you forget time?
  • How could you use your gift to help others?
  • Why is it worth the risk?
  • What do you love?
  • What makes you angry, sad or frustrated?
  • What needs doing in the world?
  • What can you offer?

The cake artist I know is aware of her gift but always under-playing it. The rest of us appreciate her genius. She makes people feel special when she does what she loves.

I wrote one day about my own gift (and it feels awkward to say it): “I can put things into words you didn’t know you felt”. Naming experience gives us power. I want to offer that even though I will do it imperfectly.

Life is going to knock me around whatever I choose. I may as well choose the ups and downs of a path that I love. I may as well give what I have to give.

I will never nurture you with a beautiful birthday cake. I hope to give you words that help you find your truth and follow your loves.

Who are you? What do you love? What do you want to give?

Who do you know you are?