I am not my thoughts.

I am the person who shows up.

I am the person who cuddles my boys every morning as they slide into my bed, not the voice in my head that begs me to go back to sleep.

I am breathing hard and sweating on the treadmill, not the voice that wanted me to stay at home.

I’m the wife and the home-maker, not the chatter inside my head that finds fault and is never satisfied. I’m the body, the brain, the arms, the legs, the human that through thick and thin will still be here, no matter what.

I am the cold shower in the morning when my mind is screaming no, and the chocolate in the evening because my sweet tooth is stronger than my words.

I am all of these things.

I am the writer—not the doubter. The key slapper and pencil pusher, and also the procrastinator. I’m not the thoughts and drama that rages in my head, working hard to keep me stuck and pull me down, I am the person who begins and strives to finish, no matter what my inner critic says.

I am the person who speaks up when my hands are sweaty.

Who turns up when the voice of fear is tugging on my shirt.

Who stands up when someone needs protecting.

You and me, we are the love we give, the things we make, the friends we have, the money we create. We are what we grow, the relationships we build, the work we do, the goodwill we have, the pain we have caused—we are all of these things. This is who we are.

Not the thoughts, the fear, the doubt, the worry, the critique—the voices in our head.

Those voices are no one, just a jumble of conscious words, neurotically narrating—trying to make sense and feel safe.

If you want to know who you really are, look beyond the tangled dialogue that flip-flops inside your skull. Inspect your day, look at what you do, break it down, write it down, document it if you have to. That is who you are; take that person in because no matter what the voices say, we are nothing more and nothing less than how we show up each day.

We are not the words said about us—by us, or by anyone else. We are the human, the person doing—that is who we are. If that person is someone you are proud of, someone you like—love that person, perfect and broken—because you are most certainly enough.

X Paula