Will the Real Anne Marie Bennett Please Stand Up?

When I was young, there was a TV show called What’s My Line? where three people would all pretend to be the same person with an interesting story to tell. Panelists would ask questions to try and discern which person was the “real” one whose story was being told. I used to love the part at the end of the show, where the host would say, “Would the real _________ please stand up?” The three would make a show of pretending to rise. And then, finally, the “real one” would stand up.

I could really relate to this when my chemo treatments were about 1/3 over. I’d lost most of my hair, and most of the time I just didn’t feel like “myself.” When I put these three images of myself together (see above), I stared at them in amazement and truly wondered, if they were on “What’s My Line?”, which one would stand up as the “real” Anne Marie Bennett?

At first I was sure it was the image of “me” on the left, with my hair intact and curly, before my surgeries and treatments and all these annoying side effects began. But then I paused, realizing my error.

It doesn’t matter if I have a full head of hair and a healthy glow, or if I am completely bald with dark circles under my eyes, or if I am wearing a wig to try to blend in and look normal when I’m out in public and not feeling well. It’s the same “real me” on the inside, no matter what is happening to me on the outside.

This whole experience (cancer, surgery, recovery, chemo, hair loss, side effects…) has given me a new understanding of that oft-quoted belief system that states we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

This is because, as I look at the three views of myself (above), I see many differences on the outside, but I also know that there is a “me” on the inside of each of “them” that is constant and true, regardless of whether or not I have hair, or whether or not my face is wan or bloated or smiling or frowning. This “me” on the inside is the light that shows up in my eyes; it’s the reflection of that spark of the Divine that was planted inside this body when I was born.

So, if those three “Anne Marie Bennetts” were on a current version of What’s My Line?, none of them would be considered imposters. They are all “real” because of the SoulEssence that is present in each one.