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What do You Identify With?

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I have been thinking a lot lately about the identities we hold and how they play out in our lives.  When we let go of these identities we can be FREE to be WHO WE REALLY ARE – and really decide how to identify ourselves.  It may be a bit hard to understand, but with each identity you hold there is a list of rules that go with that identity.  Some of those rules you made and some are put on by society.  There are so many identities that we hold, like mother, father, wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, our career, our religion, our social title, etc.  With each of these identities come a list of “rules” with that identity.  Sometimes we give ourselves an identity that is not even at all how, or who we are.  I have a client that kept telling me she is shy, I kept saying to her you are not shy, but she swore she was a shy person and that it caused her a lot of anxiety.  Even just to be in line at the grocery store she had a lot of anxiety because she didn’t want anyone to talk to her, for fear she wouldn’t have anything to say because she is shy.  We worked on releasing that belief that she held and she realized that she is not shy at all, but that the deeper part of that belief is that she had a fear of being seen by others.  We worked through that too and now she no longer has that anxiety.
We put labels on ourself and that puts us in a box.  If you have put a lot labels on yourself, then the box you are in might feel really tight and suffocating.  Our true nature is to feel complete freedom ALL the time.  Our very essence, our soul is not bound by anything it is free.  Yet we put labels on ourselves and others and then we feel boxed in and we loose ourself.  It seems a lot of people are feeling that way right now, a bit lost and I think this may be a big reason.  How many identities do you hold and have you ever stopped to think about what it means to hold/believe them?
I have worked with clients on this topic and when I ask them to write down what it means to be that identity they are astonished at what they write.  For instance I have a client who just got married and her husband has a few children, so instantly she is a step mom.  She called me in a stressed state to come over and when she began telling me about how she was feeling about not being a good enough mom, I told her to write down what she thought it meant to be a good mom.  She stopped halfway and said “Oh my, this is the list of an insane person.”  She realized that the standards she was holding herself to, to be a good step mom were things that no person could accomplish.  This identity and the rules she subconsciously gave it were causing her great amounts of stress and anguish and taking her away from her birthright of joy.
Maybe you have the belief that you will never get past your addictions, that you are a lazy person, or even something as simple as believing you are a light sleeper.  The more we keep saying these things about ourself, followed after I AM the more they really become who we are and that is NOT who you really are.
Who we really are at the core, is love, peace and joy. We then do everything from that place. So we are love peace and joy while we work at an office, we are love peace and joy while we teach yoga, we are love, peace and joy while we take pictures, we are love, peace and joy while we deliver the mail. But we are not the identifications that go along with IT person, yoga instructor, photographer or mailman. With each identification that we hold about ourself there are a list of rules that we, as well as society hold about that identification that is NOT who we really are. For instance I have said for years that I am a writer. It causes me great anxiety and frustration when I can’t write, or don’t have time to, then I adopt the mentality that writers are tortured (because that is what society says). So in order to change that identity I have to change the rules of what that means to me. So I now call myself a Word Wizard!
Being perfect, being a people pleaser, playing small in life and the feeling of always being in trouble for something are all identities that I have let go and to some extent I am still working on fully letting them go for good!
Please post the identities you hold below that you are ready to let go of so you can be FREE!

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Erin McGuire


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