I did it. I moved to a new country and finally feel settled into my new life. For months now, I have literally been clearing space in my life for this new beginning which included getting rid of most of my belongings, saying goodbye to family and friends, leaving my beloved job, and doing lots of inner work. This inner work has included yoga, meditation, counseling, journaling, and reading. I say all of this to say…I have learned A LOT, and here is my attempt at verbalizing this growth.
Who Am I Exactly…
From a young age, we begin to form our identity. We acknowledge our name as ours. We, then, create this concept of “I”, “my”, “me”, and “mine”. We learn our gender, race, socioeconomic status, and family dynamics. We build a personality, sense of humor, and style. We claim objects, such as toys, as a part of who we are. As we age, these toys get replaced with cars and houses and diplomas and net worth and friends in our circle. When we begin to claim all of these things as a part of our identity, we assert value to them. So, the more we have, the more we valuable we are.
The reality is we are infinitely more than what we have.
What we have limits us to a belief that we can achieve more value. Rather, our value is inherent. We are born with eternality and depth and expansiveness. We are creative creatures with the ability to interact with others and things on this earth.
Examples of things we possess or believe add value to us include titles such as sister, mother, friend, teacher, lawyer, and church-goer. We also include possessions such as houses, cars, and new iPhone. We include the number of followers we have on Instagram and the compliments we receive about our new shirt and the amount of countries we’ve been to.
When we separate ourselves from the things we possess, we can feel liberated to pursue the things that excite us. Once we rid ourselves of titles and possessions, what is left? This space that is created leaves room for the creative within to follow their excitement.
Defining the EGO…
The space between who we are and what we possess is called our EGO.
My mom always said, “EGO stands for easing God out“. Whether “God” means a Higher Power or your enlightened self, the ego is the obstacle to awakening to your true identity. Luckily enough, recognizing the ego is overcoming the ego. Separating who you are from what is actually happening is the battle against the ego.
For example, there is a 14-hour time difference between Melbourne and Atlanta. It takes a bit of extra effort to connect with friends back home because I am usually sleeping when they are awake and vice versa. When I haven’t heard back from a friend, I could make it mean that I am a bad friend or that I have done something wrong or that I am unworthy of friendship and connection. The ego comes in and says that this experience is a part of who I am, and I need to take on this experience as a part of my identity moving forward. It is easy to let the ego win, but if I want to overcome this and commit to a deeper understanding of my depth as a human being, I can step back and realize that I am not defined by the actions of others.
Maybe you did make a mistake, maybe someone thinks you do deserve to disconnect from a friendship, and maybe someone does intend to inflict harm on you, but our value is innate. This experience is a tool we can use to discover what is within us. We can acknowledge our emotions and physical sensations, which remind us of what is present. We can connect with others who have had similar experiences and ask for support. We can remind ourselves of our humanness when we make mistakes. But may we never lose sight of our worthiness.
We can leave an experience or a relationship with a greater understanding of the impermanence of life and commit to the acknowledgement of our inherent value.
The idea of the ego can feel emptying. For me, I think, “well, if I am not all of the things that I own or titles I claim, then I am pretty much a blank canvas“. EXACTLY!