(Photos taken at Storm King in the Hudson Valley, north of Manhattan.
This is one of my most favorite places on earth.)
This is one of my most favorite places on earth.)
Today's post is one I can't wait to share with you.
It applies to women, men, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, single adults, professionals of any kind, designers, activists, feminists, political parties, members of any religion, athletes, etc. And it applied to me when I was dead to the world and barely able to walk my way through the city.
This post is all about...
Identity, Identity, Identity.
Do you know what is REALLY life changing in the deepest way you could imagine?? Tapping into your truest identity!!! And by some miracle, this happened to me. I have been a different woman ever since I did this.
Until I was about age 30, I was adopting many other identities for myself.
And oh please - I thought they were GOOD identities to have:
-Successful in Business/Entrepreneur
-New Yorker/Living the Dream
-At one point, "Mormon" was my identity...(though I gave that one up at about age 18 and luckily came around to a better identity later in life, even when I did later attend church...)
That meant that if things weren't going well in any of these areas, that my identity was feeling threatened, incomplete, meaningless, non-existent, or like a failure. Yes, FAILURE. Each of these areas has failed me and different times. Because of the failure of these identities that I thought were so dang important in life, I remember the years when I felt there was no hope for me. I literally could not even imagine a way to feel happy, confident, successful, desirable, likable, spiritual, attractive, or comfortable in my own skin. Happiness seemed so, so very impossible.
But here's one thing I know now: Pursuing identities that are based on circumstances or the involvement of other people behaving according to your desires will sooner or later lead to great uncertainty, insecurity, pain and suffering at some point. It's a recipe for disaster. That is the life I once lived.
So what on earth does one do?!?
What is a better identity to pursue?
Well, I think there is an unchanging identity that you can tap into. It trumps EVERYTHING else.
My truest identity is what I consider my inner, divine identity....my divine birthright to be the best I can be; my desire to align with The Divine & Love by doing my best to embody all the virtues of the world that I can.
I don't have to rely on any other person or thing to pursue this identity or to be fulfilled by this identity or to truly OWN this identity. It's something I have right now. I had it when I was divorced and faced an unknown future, when I was single at age 32 and needed all the self worth I could muster, when I met Danny and wanted so much to share life with him, when I faced two failed IVFs, etc. Pursuing this identity brings PURPOSE and HOPE to the most dire of circumstances. For this identity to have power, though, I have to OWN IT and allow it to guide my life, my decisions, and my reactions. This identity, no matter what mishaps happen in life, can always flourish and thrive IF I stay true to it and align with it above all other identities. Can you even imagine a life with purpose, even in the face of turmoil. A life with more love and less pain. A life that can respond to drama with strength. A life capable of being whole and free even in the face of toxicity. A life capable of still pursuing desires and even other identities, but doing so with power and strength and wisdom and self worth. It is possible. It is so very possible.
Now, an important clarification: if I mess up the order and align with other identities first, then I'm likely letting the circumstances of my life (and the trials of my life) dominate my well being- perhaps even paralyze me. For example, if I want to be a mother, more than I want to just live a meaningful life - my lack of motherhood or feelings of failure at motherhood may ruin my life. If I want to be a wife and have a great marriage more than I want to be individually whole - being single or having a failing marriage could make me feel worthless and insecure and unvalued. If I want a successful career more than I want peace in my life - dips in my success may bring on a depression and feelings of failure and inadequacy. When these other outside identities dominate, my wholeness waivers according to the often delicate state of relationships, children, health, jobs, looks, body, money, success, etc.
This way of life is a complete roller coaster.
I think we all deserve something better.
Pursuing your truest identity is not an easy task, but the freedom, power, joy and peace that can result is so completely worth it. I hope you'll join me in the pursuit.
Dear friends, do you find yourself pursuing some identities that bring you pain- because they are not currently being fulfilled the way you want? Do you think pursuing a deeper, truer identity might help you through it? Feel free to ask more questions if you need clarification.