Case of Mistaken Identity

posted in: Evolving | 0

“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.”
–Alan Watts

I decided to give up my identity. Or perhaps more accurately, I have decided to let go of the personality I was identifying with. Maybe not ALL of it, but much of it.

It’s time.

I have gotten what I needed and I am ready to move on. Evolve a bit.

It’s no mystery to anyone who knows me that I am a bit of an adventure-seeker. I am enthralled with the visceral thrills of life– the joy of movement, the adrenaline of challenge, the excitement of seeing or trying something new…

That visceral side includes unabashed interest in feeling emotions deeply– love, joy, sorrow, anger. I intentionally detached from a road that was leading me towards more spiritual and less visceral because I WANTED to feel. I wanted to be wrapped up in the things that make us experience our humanity. Somehow it made me feel more connected to life.

Well, guess what. My ego was really glad to hear that. And Ego has been very happy to supply me with an overabundance of “the feelies”. Nothing too dramatic is actually taking place in my life, mind you. Far less, in fact, than what the average person must endure. But that might not be your automatic assumption if you witnessed me in the full flux of emoting through any given daily event. My emotions run close to the surface and are ready to snap in anger, flow in sadness, belly laugh in mirth. It was pretty fun at times, but if I’m honest with you, it’s becoming exhausting. Annoying. Feeling Deeply was a lake in which I was taking an indulgent swim, I thought. But it is a fitful ocean with an undertow and I need to get back to solid ground before I get pulled under.

I am someone who firmly believes in starting each day with a grateful heart. I DO actually count my blessings each morning before I get out of bed. So it is at diametric odds with my basic instinct of gratitude when Ego asserts that I need to be angry or sad about  something, insisting that I acutely feel a sense of lack rather than recognize and rejoice in the abundance of what’s there. I see the inherent irony– I am the one who wanted to emote deeply, but probably part of me also knew that tiring of it one day would be the stepping stone I needed to that road that offers a deeper inner peace.

It’s time to step back into the calming recognition of the present.

My guideposts:

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence.”
― Eckhart Tolle

“You cannot suffer your past or future because they do not exist. What you suffer is your memory and your imagination.”

It’s easy to identify the factors that led me to become so attached to emoting, but in the end, if that’s not what I want to do anymore, then we can toss those factors out the window.

I’m not sure how this shift will happen, how quickly, how smoothly, or how completely, but even just a few days into this decision, I have started to hear my inner self catch me out when Ego starts pulling me towards reactionary behavior. It’s a start.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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