Who are you really now that COVID has put you on time out from your old life?
Are you the job title, or that person who once won that thing? Maybe you feel represented by the brand you wear, better yet the one you created for yourself? Are you the person your parents expected you to be, when as a child you first started developing a personality? Are you your failures and the things you almost did?
Perhaps you don’t think about these things very often. But let’s give it a try.
- What if the job disappears, and you no longer have a title next to your name? What would you write to express your power of contribution?
- Imagine that your favorite brand goes out of business and you have to start dressing yourself differently? What would you wear to express yourself?
- Here’s a good one: What if your parents were wrong? and your failures were actually core life lessons? How would you live your life and what kind of choices would you start making?
Shaky Identity 101
There are many ways for us to create a solid identity. I mentioned a few of them already, especially job, appearance, family and experiences. Our identities help us make day to day choices, small ones (like what to eat) and big ones (like where to live and who to make babies with) it allows our brains a break from constantly trying to solve existential problems. We usually don’t even have to think about these things if we function within a society. The most basic identifying factors are chosen on our behalf without our conscious approval. Thank your school, your local food store, the TV in your living room, the government, your unsuspecting parents…the list can go on and on. Essentially society tells you to say YES and move on to the next fake choice you think you are making.
Spirituality I have come to find, comes at crucial times for most of us. Many people seem to be exploring themselves now due to the significant loss of jobs from COVID, and/or the changing nature of our lifestyles. The first thing that happens once you delve into seeking higher truths is all those ego crushing questions come out to the surface. Essentially, if I am none of the things that I identified with before, then who really am I?
This is where it gets fun and juicy and terrible for our egos. At this point you welcome in that fantastic identity crisis that most of us lost souls out on spiritual journeys either are experiencing or have experienced before. Mindset comes in hard and heavy, and you get to really sit face to face with your insecurities, choices and triumphs equally.
I, in no way am claiming to know answers, all that I know, I write. I think we need to create space for questions like this not only in Sathsangs or philosophy lectures but over coffee with friends too. Normalizing self exploration is a great way forward to create a happier more authentic society.