When you and I came forth from this world we came forth naked. Totally naked: without any and all labels. No name, no gender, no nationality, no religion, no politics…
So how did you and I end up with such a strong identity? An identity that grips us. An identity that permeates us. More accurately, identity that is us. It simply happened didn’t it as we travelled through the years with people, from one place to another? Would it be correct to say that the foundations of my identity, your identity, our identity was solidly in place before you and I were in a place to choose, to discriminate, to accept or decline the garments of identity thrust upon us by our parents, family, caregivers?
I ask you to take a good look at the core of your identity? What do you see? Do you see ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘American’, ‘Brit’, ‘christian’, ‘muslim’, ‘atheist’, ‘painter’, ‘mom’, ‘CEO’, ‘marketer’….? Please go and look beyond that. What do you see?
If you look deep enough and have the courage to see, to listen, I say that you are most likely to find that the core of your identity is that of ‘being defective’. Is that not our common humanity at the most fundamental level? You and I see ourselves as ‘defective’, as ‘not good enough’, as ‘something is wrong about me’. Right? I get that my version of defective may be that ‘I am not good looking’ and that ‘my body is weak’ and that ‘stupid’. Your identity might be that you are ‘too tall’, ‘too fat’, ‘too shy’, ‘not considerate enough’, ‘poor’… Do you notice that the details differ and the bigger game is the same between us? I am defective: I am not whole, I am not complete, I am not perfect.
You and I were born without identity, born naked of all labels, born naked full stop. Naked! So how did you go from no identity, and the lightness and freedom that goes with that, to carrying the huge burden that goes with operating from the stance ‘I am not whole, not complete, not perfect’? We were programmed. Why? So that we would fit in with the existing order. So that we would better comply with the wishes of those more powerful than us. Right?
How is it working out? Put differently, what is the experience of my life, your life, lived from the context of ‘not whole, not complete, not perfect’? It is that of looking for all kinds of way to be whole, be complete, be perfect. That is what all the self-help books are about, right? That is what all the status brands and conspicuous consumption is about, right? That is what all the pre tense of being perfect and having a perfect life is all about, right?
I say to me, to you, to us, what fools we are! We can simply give up the game. We can give it up right now, just like that. How exactly? Notice, that we were born naked, without labels, without identity. Notice, that identity is a choice. You and I can choose to live from another identity, another context. Which one? Where I declare myself as ‘whole-complete-perfect’, and you declare yourself as ‘whole-complete-perfect’. Let’s not stop there. Let’s declare all of our fellow human beings ‘whole-complete-perfect’.
Imagine how life would show up if you and I did declare ourselves as ‘whole-complete-perfect’. Imagine how life would be if you and I declared each and every human being as ‘whole-complete-perfect’. Not as a truth but as an identity that we give ourselves. And as a stand from which we show up and operate from this world. When we relate to ourselves and our fellow human beings as ‘whole-complete-perfect’ a totally new dimension of conversation and action shows up for us; you, me, everyone. We stop being small! We are free to be BIG: to give wings to our dreams, to act on the world, to co-create a world that works, a world that is wonderful for us all.
Given that we come forth naked of identity, why is it that we have not been conditioned to believe and operate from stand-identity of being at our most fundamental level ‘whole-complete-perfect’? If we had been conditioned that way, we would operate as ‘gods’ right? What if those that condition don’t want ‘gods’ and instead want ‘slaves’ who do not know that they are enslaved? Then giving us the identity of being ‘defective and weak’ would make perfect sense. So I say choose: slave or god.
Still convinced that you know yourself? Still convinced that you are defective, small, weak, and powerless? I invite you to watch the following video: