You Are Not The Things You Have Or Do

“You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis.” - Fight Club

It’s easy to confuse the things you have with who you are. Even easier to equate your worth with where your employed, what title you hold, and who you are in a relationship with.

Watch quickly as your self-worth drops with the number in your bank account or leaves out the front door with your (ex-)girlfriend. Observe as you justify your unemployment status to a total stranger on the subway or list of all your accomplishments at dinner with your in-laws.

None of these things capital-M, Matter and you “know” that. They are tools used by the ego to create a false identity that keeps you distracted from having to dive into uncertain waters, and stare your emotional baggage right in the zipper.

But still, even though you know all of this, it’s easier to borrow the feeling of love from the people and things in your lives than it is to love yourself. It makes us feel “good” to be validated—no matter the reason. But it doesn’t change the fact that you are “borrowing” this feeling, this love, this validation.

And borrowing means, that at some point in time, you are going to have to return it. It isn’t yours to keep, and if you think it is, you’ll be heartbroken when it goes away.

The good news is: there’s a type of love, of goodness, of validation that you don’t need to borrow. It’s the kind that only you can cultivate, only you can dig for. It sits at the place inside of you that cannot be touched or altered by the outside world.

No matter the state of the economy, the color of your skin, your relationship, social, or employment status, your sexuality, where you live, what you are doing today—this thing does not go away.

It’s you.

And as each external falls away, as all the thoughts you have about yourself dissolve, it comes into even greater focus.

It’s love.

Love is all you are made of.

Kate Ward