“As soon as you are born you are given a name, a religion, a nationality, and a race. You spend the rest of your life defending a fictional identity,” via paradise awakening. Following up on yesterday’s conversation about dreams and defining our path, I want to take a moment to acknowledge how difficult the work of self-discovery is, particularly in this society. We are trained to perform and we are told who we are from day one. The connection with our inner knowing is invalidated from the moment we are born. We are constantly indoctrinated with what is right and wrong and what we should be doing and what we need to believe in a never ending current of information overload. How are we able to define who we are if we are given the answer the moment we arrive here? It gets even more confusing when parts of that identity turn out to be true but the rest don’t align. And it’s even more painful when we are given an identity that completely isn’t us. The soul of artists do not jive in a nine to five world.
Now, we are born with the blueprint of what we need to do in this life. We need some help with the whole survival thing, but we have a pretty good sense of who we are right off the bat. Just as any toddler and they are happy to share their opinions on the matter as well as their like (or dislike) of the situation. The defiance of a three year old is pretty damn impressive. We train that out of them and tell them what is acceptable and what isn’t. But who the hell are we to decide what is right for other people? I mean, I completely understand the greater good and doing no harm, I’m not talking about that. But who said you HAVE to be a doctor? Who said you HAVE to eat a certain way? And here I am, captain hypocrite as I tell my son exactly who I want him to be…
That is where we break the cycle. I mean, aside from teaching our kids not to be jerks and how to stay alive and healthy, they will figure it out. Actually, most of them have it more figured out than we do. I’m still holding onto the old generation where manners and self-sacrifice were considered more noble than building something of our own. Not that those things don’t have their value or place, it’s just that is not where we operate from now. Now there is emphasis on a deep sense of knowing who we are and breaking the system. Granted, there has ALWAYS been an undercurrent of that in every generation—those are the trailblazers and often the ones deemed crazy (they really aren’t they are just often ahead of their time) but now the cracks in the system can no longer stay hidden. That starts with no longer hiding ourselves.
We treat identity as a shameful thing, like brown hair is something to hide. Like, the fact that I like Harry Potter as a responsible adult woman is something to be ashamed of. And between those two examples, I think we confuse the issue of identity all together. Identity isn’t one solid thing—we will identify with many things over our lifetimes depending on our experiences. We are not one thing. Then we throw in the hierarchy of what is better and the moral dichotomy of right and wrong and we have missed the point of who we are entirely. The spectrum exists for a reason. But we so fiercely defend what we tell others we are from some primal survival instinct and the need to be right that we feel we can tell others who to be and what to do with their lives. We lose sight of the entire range between.
While we are given a “Who you are” starter pack upon birth, I say the moment you feel that doesn’t align with what you feel inside, start working on what makes you feel good. Start working on what makes you come alive. Learn to define yourself—hell, don’t define yourself, just go with what makes sense in the moment. We spend so much time trying to convince others that what we do is the best that we lose the joy of just being. We feel like the point is to be right when the point is to just be! Share what you have and that light will spark the fire in others. We don’t need to be told what to do—we just need to remember who we are.