“identity” . . .
“Our identities are shaped by the emotional environment of our childhood years, which we tend to re-create in adult years. We are programmed by the thoughts and belief systems of our parents, who were shaped by the beliefs of their parents. Sometimes we will even treat ourselves the way our parents treated us.” . . . “You are not your identity. To begin to lose your attachment to your identity, it is important to first become aware of it.”
The ideas in the paragraph I just quoted above are heavy duty and complex according to how our childhoods played out. For me, I was left on my own at a young age to fend for myself and to prove myself over and over again on my own. Boy, does that sound familiar. I can’t believe that I’m still re-creating that kind of environment for myself. But guess what? I think I actually am. For example, I know that I’m really a loner and set up projects for myself that are challenging. And that I am intense about moving through those challenges.
Like today, I moved the eight foot money plant back to where it was before out of the direct sunlight that came from a higher skylight. A plant expert had told me last week that too much sun wasn’t necessarily the best thing for the plant. To create a space for it, I moved the canary over so that it wouldn’t get a direct draft from the window if cool air were to enter. The plant window needed attention so I grouped all the amaryllis bulbs that had gone by and relocated the huge flowering orchids so that they would be visible from the street. By that time, I discovered that the vacuum cleaner bag was so stuffed full that it wasn’t drawing anything up. After changing the filter and putting in a new bag, I was ready for a break.
This little example illustrates that I do things alone that need to be done, but are way more than probably could be done in the space of a mid-morning, resulting in my feeling overtaxed, impatient and dreading what else that still needs to be done but which I’m too pooped out to do anything about until later today or tomorrow.
Having too much to do and feeling like I have to do everything myself is a familiar feeling from my childhood. Especially when it goes along with feeling invisible to others or not being noticed (enough.) Maybe I should stop now that I realize it’s a part of my so-called “identity” that I don’t need to enact anymore.
In her book, Linn says that being able to see one’s created “identity” is the first step to removing it and discovering one’s true authenticity. What an interesting idea!