iDentity: Who Are You?
You know them well — your iPad, iPhone, iEverything. But how well do you know yourself?
By Nevine Shazli
In this age of instantaneous access, we may feel closer to people and things which in the past would have seemed totally out of reach, yet we may be losing touch with our own identity. “So what?” you may ask. Well, imagine our solar system without the sun. Planets would have nothing around which to revolve, and there would be no light on Earth, and consequently no life. You are the sun, the center around which your life revolves. If you are not connected and centered in the core of your true self, the light that shines from you will be dim and the quality of your life (relationships, work etc) will be affected.
What are the answers that would come to mind if someone were to ask you “Who are you?”
What are the answers that would come to mind if someone were to ask you “Who are you?” You would probably reply: “I am a mother, father, daughter, friend, engineer, director.” Since what we do is often an important topic of conversation and because a job takes up such a big part of a person’s life, many of us associate our identity to our work or career. Our lives seem to also be defined by our relationships: the people we share our lives with, those we take care of, the ones we see socially, etc. Being married or single, having children, taking care of an ageing parent and being part of a social circle or a club can all be a part of what we believe to be our identity. These, however, are just roles that we play and not who we are.
Similarly, our financial status and what we own are only temporary manifestations to be valued and enjoyed, but they are not who we are. Even qualities or personality attributes such as being generous, funny or narcissistic are not fundamentally who we are. Our body, whatever it may look like or however healthy or sick it might be, is not who we are. If it was, it would vanish when we die. At the time of death, the body remains, but the person is no longer there. We’re not even our thoughts and emotions, since they come and go like clouds in the sky.
“Me” is all those things just mentioned — your body, thoughts, character, and even the roles you take on in terms of work and relationships.
Let’s take a moment to differentiate between the small “me” and the big “I”. “Me” is all those things just mentioned — your body, thoughts, character, and even the roles you take on in terms of work and relationships. As human beings, we are engaged in the activity of “me”. But if we come from a place where “me” is all of my identity, we will feel as though something is missing. We may ask ourselves “Is this all there is?” That is because there is in fact more than just little “me”. There is “I”, the You (capital Y intended) that is beyond and bigger than the face you see in the mirror, the thoughts you obsess about, the people you’re tied to and the activities you do each day. This “I” is the essence of who you are. It is your energy, your substance, your soul. It is the real you, and it is invisible.
This “I” is the essence of who you are. It is your energy, your substance, your soul. It is the real you, and it is invisible.
When you connect with this higher self and let it guide and direct your actions, thoughts, and words, you find that “me” is more beautiful and vibrant. “I” flows through and informs “me”. Being centered in “I” allows you to be ok with uncertainty, change and whatever comes and goes because, like the planets around the sun, everything external revolves around you. I don’t mean this in a self-centered way. I mean that you can now rest in the center of your true identity and become an observer of your life. You still actively participate, create and engage in the activities of daily living, but you do so from a place of truth. Your true self is more than your name, gender, occupation or even religious affiliation.
When you connect with this higher self and let it guide and direct your actions, thoughts, and words, you find that “me” is more beautiful and vibrant.
So this is all great, but how do you discover and connect with this “I”? The easiest way is by getting rid of all the stuff that is in its way. Like the layers of an onion, you peel away falsehood after falsehood. You ditch the false pretenses and rigid ways of thinking. You heal the anger and underlying hurt, forgive and let go of that unhappy or difficult childhood or experience. You let all that is not you fall away. If you feel like you’ve spent your life trying to be someone you’re not, you make the decision to stop. You embrace what feels authentic. It should feel good to be you. If you are just going through the motions, feeling lost or unfulfilled even though everything on the outside appears fantastic, take a step back and re-evaluate. Maybe you’ve never gone inward to get to know the real you. Maybe it’s time to let that real you shine. The world needs your light.
So, are you ready to re-think your iDentity? Siri says yes.
Image: via StockPholio.com
Nevine Shazli is a graduate of the Robbins-Madanes Training (RMT) program. She uses Strategic Intervention Life Coaching with individuals who need help with relationships, personal growth and development, and general life challenges. She is also a certified ThetaHealer® and uses the ThetaHealing® technique as an integral part of her life coaching services. Nevine graduated from the McGill University School of Physical and Occupational Therapy in 1997 and has since been working as a health care professional in the field of Occupational Therapy. In 2007 she completed a yoga teacher training; she teaches yoga and meditation to small groups. She is also a Reiki Master practitioner.