“We are spiritual beings distracted by the human condition.”— David Elliott
I’ve been thinking about how we, as humans, create our own identity and the identity of others. It can start as soon as we are born. As we go through life, we add or change words to define ourselves and others. We develop preferences, bias (implicit and explicit), judgements, beliefs, assumptions, and perspectives. This is the human condition. No one is above it, but we can be aware of it and observe when it arises.
Think of all the words that are tied to our identity: gender, race, ancestry, age, nationality, sexual orientation, job, religion/spirituality, education, trauma, what “side” we are on with current events, and so on.
Our identity can help make sense of our self, give us a feeling of belonging, and be part of a group. There is shared understanding, a common bond, and unity. Sometimes our identity can make us feel that we are better, more right, or less than 'the other.' It's how we perceive ourselves or how others perceive us.
Our identity can feel strengthened, weakened, or threatened in any given situation. It’s the meaning we construct with it as it relates to our perceived level of safety.
When we live in a constant state of disgust, rage, fear, or pain, that also becomes our identity.
The more we cling fiercely to our own identity, the more we push others away. The more repelled we feel by a person or group's identity, the more we reinforce a divide. We fail to recognize that we all want the same universal thing: love and safety.
This is not meant to bypass or necessarily forgive any wrongdoings, but to notice how the quality of our own energy shuts out and shuts in the other.
When we reject a person or group and reduce them to a word that lacks dignity, we no longer see them as a human.
We may not want to feel connected to 'the other', but we are, in fact, ALL interconnected. When we recognize this in our head and heart, it offers peace within yourself and understanding.
May we all walk towards peace.