I accept responsibility for my human being, because only I am responsible, but I take comfort in and rejoice that I am so much more.
I am not the circumstances around me.
Where I believe I can make a positive impact on the circumstances, I will try. Where I cannot change circumstances, I will accept that they are so, and how they impact my own circumstances is so. But I will not let them bring me down. Instead I will rise above them, as they are not me.
I am not my money.
And the gain and loss of my money is not me. I respect the good that money can help do, but I also recognize its limitations and how easily it can cause harm to others and to me. I will control my money to the best of my ability, but whether I gain or lose it, I will never let it take control of me.
I am not my possessions.
The material goods in my life include tools that can help me do and achieve things, and ornaments that can make me feel a certain way. But while I may choose to assign symbolic value to some of these things, I realize they are all still mere things, mere dust, but I am so much more.
I am not my job.
I may love the work I do, or my job may only be a stepping-stone, but either way it is still just something I do. It may nourish me, it may help others, but I am now and always will be far greater than the work that I do.
I am not my relationships.
Though they may be the nearest and dearest part of my human life, and though I seek to guide and learn from and share with and stand by them, in our humanness the people I love are not me. I am not the thoughts, hopes, desires, intentions, perceptions nor the actions of my spouse, children, parents, siblings, or friends. I cannot control their thoughts and choices, nor can they control mine. The only control I have is over me.
I am not my emotions.
I may feel joy, excitement, and other positive emotions, and I am grateful when I do. I may feel fear, anger and other challenging emotions, and I accept when I do. But because I am not my emotions, I know that only I have the power to let these emotions linger and influence my thoughts and actions, or to let go of the emotions so they do not.
I am not my actions.
But I am responsible for my actions. Where I have a choice of actions, I can only try my best to make the right choices. And where I make mistakes in my choices, I will acknowledge them, try to learn from them and forgive myself. And I will seek to atone for the impact of my mistakes on others, and seek their forgiveness.
I am not the actions of others that impact me.
I can hope their actions are done with the best of intentions, but I am not responsible if their actions are instead done out of envy, greed, anger, fear or other negative emotions. I am responsible for accepting if they are so, for trying my best to guide, and for forgiving and letting go if they are so. But I am not responsible that they are so.
I am not my body.
I am not my skin, blood and bones. I am not my fat, my baldness, my scars, or my illness. I am not my body’s desires. I am not my appearance. But I accept responsibility for controlling my body’s desires, and I accept responsibility for doing my best to respect my body, as it and it alone is what houses me in this human state.
I am not my genetics.
If a part of my human being is fixed and preordained, I accept both the gifts and challenges I have been given therein. But part of my human being is most certainly driven by choices, and so I will try my best using my wisdom and courage to make the best choices where I am able.
I am not my thoughts.
I recognize that my thoughts have the power to open doors or create barriers for me in this human form, and so I will do my best to manage the direction of my thoughts. But though their range and influence may seem immense, still they are only human thoughts, with human limits, whereas I am unlimited.
I am not my past.
Anything I have done or that has been done is done. I can choose to learn from it, I can choose to atone for it and seek forgiveness for it, and I can choose to cherish it. But I cannot change it, so I will not let it hold me. I will not let time hold me at all, as I am beyond that mere invention. The only moment to do and be is now, so now is where I am.
I am my spirit.
I am that which existed before, during and after this body, these events, these relations, and this place. That which exists beyond time and space.
In my flesh, my thoughts, my choices, my relations, my humanness, I am anything but perfect. But at my core, in my spirit, I am perfect. As we all are.
And though I cherish this human life, and this temporary body and family I am in, and I am committed to trying my best for all others and myself out of that love, I know I have nothing to lose.
Because I have been given the gift of this eternal spirit. Because I am my spirit.
I am pure, I am whole, I am God’s, I am the universe, I am grateful.
I am love.
And I have nothing to fear.
Everything is ultimately good.
And so it will be.
~ Brian Vaszily
Brian is the author of the award-winning book Beyond Stone and Steel. He’s also the founder and editor of the Intense Experiences website.