Friday, 3 August 2007

Mirror, mirror ....

Original Photo by Leonie Allan 2006 Warholized in 2007

The past week has been very powerful for me.I saw Gayla last Friday, and it stirred up so much for me. It was incredibly confronting, but at the same time empowering.

Light bulbs have been going off inside me for over a week now, interestingly though, I lost my voice.

Now being a student of the chakras, I'm quite aware that often when we are not speaking our truth, there is something that we're not saying in our lives, it often manifests as a physical ailment ~ in my case I believe its because I've been procrastinating on commencing some homework Gayla assigned me.

It seems pretty simple. She asked me to list 5 things which identify me. Sounds easy huh? Well no. I have found this task something I have found easier to run from than face it head on. But I guess if I want to find my voice again, both figuratively and literally, its something I must face.

So let's start with the definition of the word 'identity':

Main Entry: iden·ti·ty
Function: noun
Inflected Form: plural -ties

1 : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual
2 : the relation established by psychological identification

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

There are many words I can use to describe myself. I am affectionate, cheerful, and caring. Others see me as passionate, playful, gentle and confident.

While these adjectives describe me accurately, they are only abstract versions of me.

Adjectives cannot begin to describe me and I acknowlege these descriptions for what they are, a condensed translation from my outward self to the world.

It is impossible for anyone to understand me completely because nobody has experienced the things I have, in the way I have.

My identity is something only I can define.

Think of a stacking doll. Each outer doll removed reveals another; smaller and more vulnerable than the previous. With each section combined there is a whole, but with only a section you cannot see the doll in it’s entirety and it is impossible to see whether another is hiding inside.

One's identity is similar. With little knowlege of a person it is impossible to know what is inside and whether there is more to see.

Identity is broader than one word definitions, different aspects such as feelings and memories contribute. In order to get the full sense of who a person is, the inner layers must be revealed.

The outer layer is how people see me, but the problem with characterisations and first impressions is that I don’t give an accurate perception of the real me.

Its not that I don’t like who I am, it’s more that I don't like what others think I am.

I used to spend my time focusing solely on work. Late last year I realised that I based my identity on who I was at work, what I achieved and how well-liked I was.

But one day it dawned on me that I had lost my identity and was left without any particular interests or characteristics that stand me apart.

That realisation scared the hell out of me. I literally woke up one day and realised that work took the place of my passions, and I relied on others to make me happy.

I had lost touch with myself. I let others shape me. This was certainly not my identity.

One of my favourite quotes is from Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world...As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

The part of me that sums up my identity best is not the adjectives given to me by family and friends, or the faults I find in myself.

So what are the five things that IDENTIFY me:

  1. My identity is my desire to better myself

  2. My identity is who I want to be and what I do to accomplish my goals

  3. My identity is the feelings and emotions I pour into my journal every day, and the way I feel when I do something right.

  4. My identity is not what others think of me or what I think of myself after a bad day.

  5. My identity is the love and confidence I have in myself, and the beauty inside.


Bohemian Mom said...

Oh wow! this is really, really good stuff Mitch.
I admire you so much.
The "stacking doll" analogy makes so much sense to me.
I'm so happy fior you. What a many of us are "defined" by our jobs. wonder I have such a low opinion of jobs are sad and pathetic.

cherry girl said...

Wow, I love this post, it really is something to be thought about, so often we let other people tell us who we are and that's because we haven't really thought about what we want to identify us, thanks for prompting me to think about it. That's a great quote too so thanks for sharing.

Mich said...

Actually Boho, that was my problem ... my only identity was who I was at work ... outside I felt I was no-one, so I just kept working longer and longer hours so I didn't have to feel the void which was like a giant black hole in my universe ... I learnt that its not healthy to be defined as who the professional is ... it is healthy to be defined as the whole person.

Journey Through Life said...

Wow, I can understand why this was so challenging for you. When I think of answering those questions myself, I also blank out.
You did really well in your process of coming to your answers. That's something to be really proud of.

Simone ( Exercising for comments) said...

Its funny how we can sometimes just draw blanks when faced with looking at ourselves.

Well done.

daisies said...

wow!! this was incredibly powerful ~ you are so inspiring :)