Somebody reached me through my landline the other day and said, “We’d like to conduct an interview with Begum Basoglu.” I said “Sure” and was ready to listen to the details when the voice asked, “Is it possible to talk to her directly?” There is an I within me, deep, deeper than I.* When the person on the phone was finally convinced that I was actually me, she was disappointed at not having reached me through an assistant.
This conversation made me think about the misconceptions we have about ourselves. Our business cards, our possessions, our habits – how much of these are truly us? If our worth and the worth of those around us is determined by these, what was to happen when these factors went through changes?
Maybe the problem was that we didn’t value ourselves enough. That we were always inclined to complete ourselves. With things, titles, successes. We can definitely make endless choices to make our lives easier and better. If we manage hundreds of people, we might have a skillful assistant or if we like the speed and comfort of luxury cars, we can own an expensive car. Yet the whole problem is defining ourselves with these.
We have to accept that what takes away our freedom is an illusion. The good news is that when we can identify it, we have the power to eliminate it. Like Eckhart Tolle says, an illusion only continues as long as we accept it as reality.
Let’s take some time today to think: who are we?
*From a poem by Yunus Emre.
Translated by Talya Arditi