Hmm, it what way?? I guess I'm first to answer... If in all ways....it would be my commitment to my children and family, my faith, doing what I feel is right, even if it isn't what other people think I should do, my heartsblood connection to a few of my horses, I love them all (well not one much yesterday!~LOL), but there are a few that are part of my heart...I'm sure I'll think of more.
Wow Kim - that's about as "broad" as Charlie Gibsons question to Sarah "do you support the Bush doctrine" LOL. Lets see, 1. Faith in and commitment to God - 2. Love and commitment to my family. 3. Love and commitment to my friends. 4. Love and hope for my country and it's future. 5. Last but not least, my rural lifestyle (horses and dogs, agricultural pursuits, gardening, etc. As important as the first 3 are to me, they wouldn't be quite as bright and distinct without the "warm fuzzies" I get daily from Smokey, Peanut, Coco, Cotton and Beau (horses), and Tex, Kelley, Cassie and Missy (dogs).
Everyone that knows me knows I'm a weenie. A doormat. You say jump, I'll say how high. You tell me to sh*t, and I"ll squat. You tell me to jump off the bridge, ok, i'll do it. I'm naive as homemade sin and believe everyone that tells me anything. Laugh at me, make fun of me, that's ok. That's just me. I don't make waves. I shut up and do it, no questions asked. I guess that is what defines me.
HOWEVER, I have found that I have a voice for some people and animals that do not. I work on things that are important in my poverty stricken community. I feel that people can make a difference, even if its just in your own neighborhood, it is better than turning your head and doing nothing at all. I found I can stand up when I have to and take all the ridicule and harassment I get for it.
My father gave me some very wise words: "Take a stand and stay there" And I am standing.
LOL. My love of and protectiveness over all animals. My insecurities and my strengths. My wickedness and my kindness. My selfishness and my giving. I've basically seen it all and done ALOT! LOL. So...I'd like to think I've grown into a thoughtful, kind, giving, flawed and beautiful human being, as we all are. I don't know. I guess that's a better question for my friends and family.
Marty, Matt, beautiful and eloquent answers. I don't think I could write a list of particular loves or character traits that define me as that's just too narrow. I am more than "I love ____." I could use single words, like "Faith." A huge part of my character is my bone-deep faith that the world is a place worth being, that people are essentially good, that things will balance out in the end. Faith that if you hang on long enough things will get better, that if you ask for help it will come from unusual places, and that if you step outside the box the answers are usually much more clear. I could mention relationships like "I am Robert's daughter" and that would be a reflection of part of who I am, but it does not define me. I would be different without that relationship but still me, still the same soul, just with a little different perspective. So how do I say who that person is?
I am Myself. I make mistakes, I hurt people, I put my foot in my mouth. I am Human. I make snap judgments in some situations and can be impatient. I hate stupidity. I procrastinate. But I am also honest about my faults and am trying to learn to swallow my pride and apologize when I know I'm out of line even if the person I hurt is letting me get away with it without saying anything. I'm trying every day (okay, most days) to be a better person. I know the wise older woman I want to be someday and it's time to realize that I'm grown up NOW and there's no time like the present to start acting like it in all the ways that count. Like Grace. Like Love. Like Forgiveness. I still stumble, but I'm trying.
Who I am shows in the choices I make, the people I choose to associate with, and the people who choose to associate with ME. Character shows in how you address (or don't) the things you don't like about yourself. I see a lot of room for improvement in this person who is me and I'm quietly coming to realize it's more than time I made the conscious choice to work on those things. I hope that says something good about me, about the person under the flaws. I honestly like that person most of the time. She's vibrant, smart, kind-hearted, compassionate, empathetic, intuitive, out-spoken, sometimes shy in ways you wouldn't expect, and animals all love her. It brings me to tears when my four-legged soul-partners give me their trust, especially the ones who have been so damaged by life that to do so is a major leap of faith. I would kill myself before I broke that covenant. I would die for them, for the children I hope to have someday. When I do give my heart I give it utterly and because of that I give it rarely and mostly to the four-legged. I have trust issues with humans at that level so while I make day-friends easily true friends are few and far between. I hope the ones I have know how much I value them. The ones to whom I whine and show my deepest insecurities are the ones I trust the most!
So how do I define myself? By my efforts and my fears, my failures and my battles, my hope and my dreams and my talents and my outlook. I am not the boundaries around me, the things that make me different from others. I am that small spark of consciousness which casts the light by which I see the world. I am Me.
I think it is what I do each day that defines me and I try very hard to be worthy of each day. I am what I choose to be be. Some days I don't always make the right choices but it makes me try a little harder the next day.