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There is no “Out There”

Over the past several weeks, a general theme has been coming up around the concept of “identity”.  I’ve collected a few of those here, knowing from my work that so many are seeking clarity, direction and “what’s next”.  Something here may spark an idea for that person in your mirror.

One of my clients has been doing some great self-observation work and today we got onto the subject that we can only see aspects of ourselves in others, as a mirror to us.  For example, there are things I appreciate in others, such as intelligence, kindness or quick wit because I usually like those traits about myself.  Similarly, when I get aggravated by someone being controlling, well….where’s my mirror?  Not that I’m liking that part much.  “You Spot It, You Got It” could be another Universal Law, like gravity.  Whether you get a warm fuzzy or find yourself highly annoyed about someone’s behavior, remember, there is no “out there”.  If you are looking to have something be different, the answer is in your own back yard.

Speaking of close to home, last month I took my last “first day of school” picture on our front porch.  Yes, my baby girl is a high school senior.  My boys just rolled their eyes when I forced this tradition on them when they were high school.  Despite this year’s eye-rolling, the next comment was, "Mom, you have to get pics of [my daughter and her best friend] on the car."  The car was, of course,  adorned with “Seniors ’10” and hearts painted all over the windows.  Then they were off to get iced coffees before school.  Ahh…the first day of school…that enthusiasm will be showing up again in June on the last day of school.  Another place for me to look at “identity”. What about how we perceive our roles in our lives? In this scenario, I’ll be evolving from my role as a “full-time mom” of 27 years (not like one is ever done being a parent) to an “empty nester”.

What roles, job descriptions, business titles or positions in organizations that you may currently hold have now run their course? Are you hanging onto them even if they are no longer a fit, simply because you have identified yourself as your job title? Could you still be you if you were no longer the president of ABCDE Group?  Are you truly dedicated to your role because it’s right for you or because it’s right for someone else?  I’m sure you’ve seen Dick Hoyt and his inspirational story at www.teamhoyt.com, yet it might be helpful to view his video again on the site if you happen to be asking yourself that question.

Speaking of what others might think, what era are you living in?  Is it the present or some other time?  This summer, I spoke with a friend who enjoyed a day at the PGA Championship round at Hazeltine National Golf Club with his friend.  Being a people observer, they talked of many attributes of today’s elite golfers, the demeanor of the crowd, etc.  After the round was completed, numerous people were gathering in a VIP tent.  His friend made a comment that was very interesting, “There are four groups of people in the tent.  One group will remain silent.  The second group will be those who say, ‘Do you know who I was?!’ The third group will be boasting, ‘Do you realize who I am?!’ Finally, the fourth group will be encouraging others to recognize, “Do you know who I’m going to be?!’  Then he asked my friend, 'Which one are you?'”  Hmmm…. What era are you living in?  Is it serving you to dwell on the past, live only for the future or be with those who you can love and matter to right here, right now?

Let me end today's thought about identity with the inspiring writing from Marianne Williamson in her book, A Return to Love, that Nelson Mandela helped make famous:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

BE the inspiration YOU are!



Reader Comments (2)

Where was the group asking for the free beer? :-)

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterType J (Julie)

Funny, Julie. Thanks for reading with such curiosity. :-)

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercindyinspires

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