“In any situation, we can choose who we are and choose who we want to be.”
– Okami, Flame in the Mist, by Renée Ahdieh
When Okami (meaning “Wolf”) says this, he’s in conversation with a spirited young lady whose personality and strength has been compared to that of water. She’s disliked the comparison, but he urges her not to dismiss it… or to hold too rigidly to it. The comparisons like water, fire, etc., these are guidelines for helping us to understand ourselves and each other. They are not be-all, end-all rules that we are permanently beholden to. We can be like water, or earth, or fire, or the air, or any number of other things, and we can shift between them however we like.
It’s all a matter of what we choose to be. And we can choose.
When we are caught in a moment of stress, we can choose how to respond. When there is something we want and can’t have at the moment, when there is something inconvenient in our way, when there is someone rude or something painful, whatever it is, we can always choose how we meet it. And when things are going well for us, when we get a little full of ourselves, when things are going our way, we can choose who we are in those moments too. Whether we smile and bear our pain or lash out, and whether we become smug and self-important, or remain humble, that choice is ours. It always has been.
It’s just a matter of who we choose to be… and who we choose to want to be.
Perhaps this rings particularly strong with me because it is something I have been striving to teach my nephew, unwilling though he seems to be to learn the lesson. (sigh, teenagers)
But either way, it’s something I strive to remember, that I might make my own choice, and be my best self.