Who are you?

How do we build ourselves? How do we get to know ourselves and lead a life close to our essence? Emotions, values, needs, experiences and social expectations are just some of the factors that contribute to shaping our personality. A cocktail – sometimes toxic – that we have to learn to navigate. Let’s start with emotions: where do they come from and what actually is an emotion?

Emotions are simple messengers and yet sometimes we cling to them, to our own emotions and those of others, as if they defined us. Nowadays, there’s a lot of talk about the importance of learning to manage emotions. Sure, let us not start handing out anger for free, but what if our emotions helped us understand who we are and what we need to be well? In other words, what feels good gives us pleasure, and what feels bad causes discomfort, basic codes for understanding what lies behind a particular emotion. And yet I think most of us ignore this simple truth all the time. And if we overlook our most basic emotions, what about everything else?

I would like to see a dedicated time slot in our homes, a subject at school and compulsory training in the workplace entitled Emotional Education. In this subject, we would learn to listen to and get to know our emotions; to see not only black and white, but also grey and, perhaps, green, blue and even purple; we would deconstruct deep-rooted beliefs; and we would strip ourselves of orders and expectations. In this discipline, we would learn to look inwards. In this course, we would learn to answer and ask: who are you? After this initial training course, we would do others: We would learn about who we want to be and what we want to do when we grow up. We would learn how to make our own way, how to tread with our own footsteps, desires and wishes. In this discipline, we would learn to be.

Can you imagine a life where we could be exactly who we were meant to be?