The wise have one foot in insanity, and the sane have one foot in the grave.
There is a difference between our experience of any event and our awareness of ourselves as individuals, a space between what we perceive to be happening and what we perceive it to mean. But as we go about our daily lives, we can become so well rehearsed in our experiences that we stop really seeing the difference between “who I am” and “what I do.”
This is how we come to identify ourselves as failures sometimes. We have the experience of failing to achieve a goal, or successfully enacting an activity the way we feel it should go, and we reflexively say that we are just not that kind of person. Like saying you aren’t much of a basketball player because you missed a shot through the hoop, or even making a more general statement and saying you aren’t much of an athlete because you don’t feel you do well at basketball. It seems natural to come to those conclusions, does it not? My point for illustrating this is to show that we come to identify with our sensations in any given situation and not with our actual abilities or internal resources.
Yet when we meet someone, we often ask them first off, what do you do, so that encourages such thinking. Indeed, the idea is even socially reinforced, as if naturally you should just define yourself by whatever utilitarian purpose you might serve in your community. But I wager that no matter how much you may want to identify with your career or skill set, you never feel comfortable in that skin, as they say.
And even scarier, the answer we expect is for the question, “What do you do to make money?” Yes, the role even loses validity if it lacks the status of being some form of monetization.
So let’s step back for a bit. Have you ever found yourself in any place you visited? Discovered your identity there? A church? A place of work? A school?
I’ve felt like I resonated with a place. The military recruitment videos seem to imply they can give you a meaningful identity.
You make your identity. You do not discover it somewhere. I offer that you don’t even make an identity, you express it or not, as your experience may have lead you to.
A purpose not identity. Ah, purpose can be arrived at in each and every moment. Each day can have a new purpose if that suits you.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.