Life is a constant state of change, yet we resist. Sometimes our biggest resistance is to ourselves and our potential for growth.
I recently had a conversation with a loved one that led to me ask him if he would consider an alternative approach when he was faced with a certain situation. I asked this of him because I felt it may be beneficial for him, and others.
As he shared how he felt in response to what I asked, I noticed again the strong adherence to identity that humans face. He spoke about not wanting to be asked to change. There was a sense that in asking for him to consider an alternative I was asking him to be different, inferring that who he was in the moment was not good enough. This was not my intent – at all.
Our identity, that who we believe to be who and what we are, is in a constant state of change also – but it would have us think otherwise. It clings to aspects of ourselves and our lives in ways we cannot always see, although we can feel it when we pay attention. Becoming conscious of these patterns may not always be easy, but it gets easier with practice and is quite liberating.
One step is to simply notice defensiveness, resistance, blame, tension, or other mental/physical/emotional indications that the identity is fearing its demise. It may not initially feel simple and it’s not even really a demise, it’s just a potential transformation – which we all experience on a regular basis whether we are aware of it or not. Each moment is potentially transformational…
In the moment you notice the flare up, also notice your breath. It is a simple, sure way to stop the reaction – or outward action of inner turmoil – from reaching out and grabbing a hold of another (not necessarily literally.) Feel your breath. Recognize the anchoring effect this has and take it deeper as you feel the life inside of your body.
Continue this focus for as long as it takes to meet all aspects of yourself – thoughts, emotions, sensations, tension, frustration, calm – whatever. If you feel a response is necessary, focus within first and check to see if it is actually helpful or if it is just an attempt of the identity in claiming its space.
Identity is what it is, neither bad nor good. It just is. Awareness around the facets of identity and the tendency to adhere to what and who we think we are allows us to see identity for what it is – essentially changing and impermanent.
Awareness, on the other hand, is of the Absolute. The doorway to the release of the stronghold on your life and the opening to a new experience of life more liberating than you can imagine.
The door is always present, it’s up to you to open it and walk through…