Identification with identities

 

Again a familiar topic, but something worth coming back to…

Which identities am I identified with? Which stories – about myself and the world – do I take as true? Which are unquestioned? What happens when I identify with them? How does it limit the life of this human self? What happens when I feel I need to defend that identity? How does it limit how I live in the world? How does it create a sense of an I with an Other, and inside and outside, a center and periphery? What happens if there is a release of this identification? What becomes available to me?

Identities are of course very useful. They have temporary practical value. They tell us the gender, age and different roles of this human self, and those roles give practical guidelines for how to live and act in the world. But are those identities who and what I really am? As a human being, I can find in myself whatever I see in others and the wider world. And I can also find myself as that which all of this happens within and as.

This came up for me again through a recent online conversation with someone who seemed to take “politically correct” as undesirable for himself. (That is my story.) Not having that particular identification myself, it is easy to see how such an identification is limiting and stressful. It takes energy to first decide if something is politically correct or not, and then make sure what I say and do doesn’t fit into that category.

The question is of course, where do I do the same? And one pointer is noticing when I experience stress, and then which identity or belief I feel a need to protect.

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