Part of that journey for me has involved a bit of an identity crisis. If I am looking for that place where I can be the best expression of myself, don’t I need to know who the heck I am first?
1. The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known.
2. The set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group.
3. The distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity; individuality.
How are our dreams rooted in our identity? Or how are we held back from fulfilling our dreams because of the attachment we have to an identity? Is that identity a true reflection of you?
Do you identify as an artist? Does this impact the choices you make, the clothes you wear, whether you have a tattoo or not, how you wear your hair, or the friends you have?
I remember about eight years ago, someone sent around this game at the office. For each person, you had to put a few adjectives that best described them. It was meant to be fun and light-hearted. When I saw the words that people used to describe me, I was shocked and devastated.
Now, don’t get me wrong. They weren’t “bad” words, no one thought I was evil or anything (or at least they didn’t say that at the time), but they weren’t words that I wanted to have etched on my tombstone either. Ambitious, driven, hard-working, etc.
It was how I got work done, but I was more than my work, wasn’t I? This wasn’t me.
It wasn’t long after that I was in a car accident that changed my life. In fact, I often think of my life in terms of pre- and post-accident, like these times are separate entities somehow. With time off from work, a broken body, and a loss of who I thought I might be, I had to come to terms with my identity.
If this was how people saw me and I didn’t want it to be, what is a true reflection of who I am really? What could I do to present that to the world and have it reflected back?
Flash forward. Many people may still use some of those words to describe me, it hasn’t gone away. But I don’t think it would be the only words they would use. I have stripped myself of my attachment to many things and continue to do so. I now make decisions not based on external norms, but based on what I really want. I live in better alignment with how I feel inside and how that is expressed externally.
As I begin to better understand who I am and who I want to be, I am able to find the spaces, places, and people that support me, that nurture those things that I wish to emulate, that accept me for all of who I am. I am also able to let go of my need to be accepted in places that don’t.
Are you dreaming of a life that is vastly different than your current one and are frozen with fear because in order to change you need to release your attachment to your current identity? Sometimes we need to tear down walls in order to build something new.
Glenda is a healer, coach, and teacher as a doula, educator, reiki practitioner, dance facilitator, kundalini yogi, and earth-medicine creator. She facilitates a new group called Awe-Inspiring Women, a community based on respect, support, education and, occasionally provoking a conversation, so that we can take responsibility for the world we've created and encourage a better world.