No one else can say something in the way that you say it.
No one else has your mannerisms, your stance, your accent, your vocabulary, your way of being present.
No one else looks like you. No one else has your way of looking at people.
No one else can move or be still, make sound or be silent, create or do nothing in the way that you can.
No one else can listen like you.
No one can write like you, sing like you, dance like you, paint like you, cook like you.
No one else has your insight or your intelligence or your thoughts or your way of putting things together.
No one else has your perspective, your take on the world.
No one else has your smile, your laugh, the expression in your eyes.
No one else remembers or forgets like you.
No one sleeps like you, wakes up like you.
No one cares like you, prepares like you, is aware like you.
No one else has your experiences, your examples, your way of telling a story or a joke or an observation.
No one else can love like you.
Any attempt to define yourself by any of these things will always miss the mark. Believing that any of this is who you are is to get lost in an illusion. Trying to preserve or improve on this uniqueness of presence is to clumsily melt the snowflake instead of gazing in awe at it.
I have a client who I speak to on the phone. I have never met her in person. I look forward to her calls in the way my children look forward to Christmas. What will it be this time? What joke or warm comment or beautiful insight or humble confession will I hear from her this week?
On one call we talked about how as we pay less attention to all the stuff that is whirring round in our minds, we become empty vessels, receiving and acting on the loving wisdom that is continually coming our way.
As we were talking, I knew that the principle was true. We are walking, talking, moving spaces. Yet equally fascinating to me was the form of my client that surrounds and shapes this space, the form that makes the shape possible. As we spoke, I knew without doubt that there is an essence of her, my client, that is indefinable and that is as magnificent as the space that we were discussing.
And it is the same for all of us. The same in the sense that we are not the same.
In focusing on the space within, we forget the vessel that is making it possible for the space to be. We forget that the vessel and the space are the same thing.
That is how it should be.
Because any thought of the separation sends us in the wrong direction.
‘What are they thinking of me? How am I coming across? Am I getting what I want? I’m so different from them. Do I like this person? Do they like me?’
All of that is empty chatter. It just gets in the way.
Anything that we think about how and who we are and how and who someone else is is held in thought and has no truth to it. We cannot define it in words.
And yet… and yet… this person, this flower, this sunset, this creature is there. It is the unmatchable indefinable essence of each form. It is a miracle. It is unique. It is a work of art. It is exquisite, infinitely detailed, complex, profound. It is far beyond description.
To say that we are like the waves of an ocean, made of the same energy, appearing and disappearing makes sense. Yet in pointing to the sameness, we miss the indefinable, momentary glorious uniqueness of each of the waves.
Each wave is a shape through which the universe expresses itself. And the shape is beautiful and beyond compare. The whole of life is held within that momentary form: the colours and the light and shade and the movement and textures.
As we realise that our idea of who we are is absolutely made up, the more this essence of who we are sparkles and dances and sets the world alight. The more intensely ourselves we become. The letting go of being just makes the being more mesmerising.
Even more miraculously specific, is that the wisdom that flows into the space that this being creates is designed expressly for that being.
Then the individual will shape it, express it, say it or turn that wisdom into a form that no one else on the planet could do.
Occasionally, the universal-turned-individual wisdom is fully, truthfully expressed, through someone’s unique personal essence with so little separation in the way that it speaks to everyone.
The magnificence is such that the world catches its breath for a moment, takes a step back to hold onto a chair.
This is when the most profoundly moving timeless works of art are created; when humanity’s greatest leaders speak words that end centuries of hatred and violence; when huge leaps are gained in medical and scientific knowledge.
And it is also present, in the tiny, numerous, every day unique expressions. When a parent turns a squabble over who gets the blue cup into a game for the whole family. Or when a nurse comforts a patient. Or when we decorate our house. Or laugh with our friends. Or become absorbed in our hobbies. Or work for a charity. Or write a letter. Or choose a new outfit or a new job or a country to live in.
All of us experience life in exactly the same way. All of us have a shape and a way of turning the formless into form that is impossible to replicate.
The more you realise that your idea of self is completely created from moment to moment, the more free you are to be the indefinable essence of yourself.
You are the perfect expression of life. The only possible expression in fact. You are perfect.
There is nothing to do here.
Because the fact is you cannot not be you and the fact is there is no ‘you’.
No one else is you. You can never be defined or matched or copied.
You are unique.