In the first part of the blog on identities I discussed some of my identities and how they impacted me in my life. This blog deals with the general results of dealing with your identities.
If I had no conscious or unconscious identities I would be who I am at any given moment. I would be present in all that I am and in all that I do. I would be authentic and real without the concern about what anyone thought of me. As the 1970′s comedian Flip Wilson used to say as his sexy, no nonsense, big attitude, female character Geraldine; “What you see is what you get”. I loved Flip Wilson and his characters because he and the characters felt so real to me. Geraldine the character didn’t care whether you liked her or not. Either way worked for her. She was a lady who loved herself and had no need to be anyone other than herself. Geraldine didn’t live in fear, because she was not afraid of losing her identity.
In the past when I struggled in my life, I did not deal with these struggles in a healthy manner. The struggles caused me to form identities that I thought would solve my problems. For example, when I had to stop the abuse from adults as a child, I became NICE in order to reduce the abuse. I took on the identity of being NICE as a way to live my life. This led to untold further struggles in my adult life. I got hooked on my identities. We all do and we all live with them until we decide to drop them.
Having an identity and not wanting to give it up is an addiction; you need it to feel a part or not a part of something whether it is negative or positive (i.e. a good mother, a loser, a winner, a good provider, unlucky, not loveable, etc.) . Remember the Wall Street brokers who threw themselves out of 100 storey windows when they lost their wealth in market crashes? In their minds, these Wall Street brokers were nothing without their wealth. These brokers could not se e that they were in fact beautiful and significant without their wealth. Their identities were addictions, they were too attached to images and were willing to end their lives for these images. Very sad!
This is how I began to remove my identities: I became CURIOUS about self worth and examining life in general. Being curious loosens the grip of identities. I discovered that my significance without identities is about being accountable for everything in my life and committing to what’s next. In addition, I learned to understand that my purpose in my life is bigger than me. For this to be true I cannot have an identity. To develop a compelling future without identities I had to fully commit.
I am challenged by my identities the most when I am under stress. Under stress I regress and seek comfort in my identities. Have you ever gone back home for a visit with your parents and feel that you stepped back in time – that wounded little boy or girl shows up there? When I do find my identities reappear, I deal with them as previously stated. I become curious again about how I went back. That NICE boy in me is always there. However I deal with it much more effectively now.