We hear a lot these days about identity and identity theft. What are we losing when we lose our identity according to the world’s standards? How attached are you to the things you identify with? I was thinking about this and something else today in more depth after reading Andrea Hess’ post called The Leap Into Growth. Something she said really struck home as I have been wondering “What in the world is going on?” since the beginning of this year.
FIRST PART OF AN AWAKENING
The first part of this understanding and awakening in making some sense out of my life right now came from these words of hers:
“Sometimes, if we’re truly bogged down in our comfort zone, life itself will conspire to toss us over the edge of our own perceived limitations. Our circumstances seem to crumble around us, making forward movement no longer a matter of choice, but of survival.
Who or what is pushing you out of your comfort zone right now? Honor these people and situations as your master teachers. They are serving you on your path, perhaps in ways you don’t appreciate right now. It may seem that they are conspiring to make you fall into the abyss of the unknown. But perhaps, as you go over that cliff, you realize that you are not falling – you are flying!”
Mother-in-law hospitalized, horse dying, losing job, bills piling up, plumbing backs up, truck blows up………ughhhh! She described my family’s life situations perfectly. We were in survival mode. You would think something is conspiring against you but the “Ah-ha” moment came when I realized from her post that we’ve been in a major spiritual and physical transition and we have been resisting by continuing in our preconceived limitations. We have been looking at life situations from the old perspective. It’s time we no longer hold onto how things worked in the past and how we handled them then. I am now, as she says, “honoring these situations as my master teachers” and looking and listening for spiritual guidance on the next steps to take. I now realized what was happening.
SECOND PART OF AN AWAKENING
The second part of the beginning of this awakening for me started through the reading of Eckhart Tolle’s book called A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club. In this book, he talks about ego and explains how it operates. I’m only a couple chapters in but what’s significant to me so far is how the ego uses identification. If we associate the “I” with wanting or having then, when things start going amuck, our self-worth is shattered because we’ve identified “I” with what we don’t have. Tolle says it so much better in several ways:
“The egoic mind is completely conditioned by the past. Its conditioning is twofold: It consists of content and structure.”
“One of the most basic mind structures through which the ego comes into existence is identification. … So when I identify with something, I “make it the same.” The same as what? The same as I. I endow it with a sense of self, and so it becomes part of my “identity.””
““I don’t have enough yet.” by which the ego really means, “I am not enough yet.”
So, if, without realizing it, I identify my self-worth with lack it will constantly be reinforced and what I am really saying is…that I am not enough. The awakening part is to realize what we are identifying with and what it is really saying about who we are. You have to start to become aware of it for it to begin to unravel and change.
It’s powerful when you learn to be the observer in your life situations and not judge. Just open your awareness and things will begin to transform. They have already for me just in what I read and absorbed today and in writing this. My identity wasn’t stolen it was just misplaced by attaching its importance to the wrong things. Who I am doesn’t change by situations. Who I am is intact and when I align myself with that instead of what I may identify with my life is transformed.
***Oprah Winfrey is having a free 10-week teleclass on Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club), starting this coming Monday, March 3rd. If you’re interested in reading this book and participating in this class, you can still sign up on her site.
From the kitchen table – Pat
If you just enjoyed what you read, please pay it forward and stumble it, bookmark it and enjoy the spirit of giving.