Over the years I have adopted various labels for myself. “I am a boy”, “I am a musician”, “I am a student”, “I am a studio manager”, “I am a speaker”, “I am a blogger”, and on and on. These are labels that I have chosen to adopt out of convenience. They set me up as distinct and in opposition to what I am not.
My early aversion to “I am a Rangers supporter” taught me to be particularly wary of the group identities that we can so easily slip into. “I am a Labour supporter” or “I am a Tory” being particularly potent at the moment.
But I am none of these things.
The real me that underlies all of these titles has been consistent throughout and it is none of them. I am not my body, I am not my thoughts, I am not my mind. If I can be aware of all of those things then the me that is aware is not them. All that I can say with any confidence is “I am”.
Constantly stripping things back to what you know to be true, which isn’t received wisdom or cultural conditioning, takes hard work. But it is worth it.
It reveals what you are.
And that we are is the same as everyone else.