Our identity (idem, the same; identidem, repeatedly; we recreate ourselves as we perceive ourselves, until we do otherwise) and our individuality, or individuation (in-divisible expression of duality — quantified as the apparently physical, and the etheric, elemental, energetic, conscious constituents of which it is constructed) may be usefully encapsulated as a “person”.
Yet a person, by definition, is a mask, a role, a persona. It is a character, designed within the limits of the environment, and the imagination. Thus, personhood remains arguably superficial, regardless of the consciousness, energy and time we invest into maintaining its expression; honing and sculpting, or disregarding and destroying our hearts, minds and bodies. Also, the more inflexibility we employ, the more we suffer; violence begets violence, regardless of context or scale, and rigidity always proves itself to be counter to the natural ways of life.
When you ask your mirrored reflection, “who am I?” why do you ask? What do you hope to learn? The facial expression is plain to see. The shape, colors, features and moving parts are all in play, while the air vibrates with your vocal emanations, reverberating off nearby surfaces, as well as through your mouth, jawbone and teeth, into your ears and completing the cycle. Even if you are speaking with your inner voice — that familiar, constant partner — the immediacy of the emotional, psychological and physical reactions are telling. You are alive. You, are you. So the question is both obvious and infinitely perplexing.
Personhood relies on deft and clever wordplay, enculturation and conditioning, repetition and multisensory reinforcement. Beliefs and values and ideologies are all intertwined with the language and attitudes of the world we inhabit, so it behooves us to be aware of the self-imposed barriers we adopt, practice, preach and propagate. If it motivates you to improve your life, or that of your family and greater human collective, it begins with clearing up and inspiring your own capacity for upgraded, next-level epistemology and conscious, neurogenesis.
You live, you love, you matter.