Sunél’s Blog | Facing that big question

Sunél Veldtman, | 17 April 2020

As the lockdown continues, our realities diverge. Some are working hard to survive by revamping their business models or changing their products. Others are locked out of their shops and cannot do much about it. Others are trying to juggle home schooling kids and jobs. Others may already have lost their jobs or shut down their businesses. Some may have more time to think than others. But most of us have probably pondered what happens after all of this is over.

The pandemic has brought us all to a moment of reckoning with ourselves. We are forced to face truths that we have pushed to the background for a long time.

I suspect many of you will think about changing direction or will be forced to change direction. Even if you continue with your current occupation, you may have recognised how unfulfilling or draining your current job is. You may be planning your next step.

What will you do?

I believe that you cannot answer that question without answering, “Who am I?”. When you’ve answered that question, the “What do I do?” will follow. You see, a life lived, or a job done without bringing the whole self and the best self to that job, will never be fulfilling and it will be draining. When you work from who you are, you bring your best gifts to the world and it becomes lighter and easier.

If you have never really stopped to answer the question of “Who am I?” at a deep fundamental level, perhaps this is the opportunity to do so. While cooped up at home, you may already have faced that question because of conflicts with your partner or children or the silence and solitude.

I first answered this question when faced with trauma in my early adulthood, but I continue to discover new aspects of myself. It’s like peeling the layers of an onion. When you’re younger, more vain, naive or arrogant, it’s not easy to comprehend all the layers that make up who you are.  Even harder to see all the raw truths those layers hold.  It gets easier to see as you mature, but it doesn’t happen without a search, without you peeling back those layers.

The answers are elusive. Frequently your family may be better equipped to tell you how you show up. Like most worthwhile pursuits, it may be painful.

So, who are you?