While I have been steadily moving in this direction for years, it became quite apparent on Easter Sunday that I no longer desire or need to identify myself in only one way. All of our ego identifications can be a very heavy load to carry, and to lighten that load, we must go within to discover what really exists beyond all of the mental labels that we have been conditioned to believe are who we are.
If enough of the identifications are uncovered and set aside to be used only when practically necessary, then what we are left with is the only aspect of ourselves that remains after death—OUR CORE SELF—the consciousness that is very much alive, very much well and very much a part of the totality that many call God/Source/Oneness/Spirit. This understanding is quite often the effect when we choose to tend to our inner garden rather than remain solely mesmerized upon outer pursuits. It is a freeing and exciting realization!
My husband and I both grew up Christian, but for many years now have raised our children as simply spiritual beings without a particular denomination. This past Easter Sunday as we were relating the Christian story of Jesus to our children, we suddenly realized that due to our evolving beliefs, we could actually identify ourselves in many ways as Jewish, too. Then from there, we smiled knowing that we don't need to identify ourselves as any one thing to be fully ourselves and fully whole.
I know that this may sound strange to some, and maybe even blasphemous or ridiculous to others, but the truth is, the more I have come to recognize myself as spirit, the more I have come to know myself as SOUL rather than roles and the less I need outside identifications to define me. In fact, I quite often have come to feel rather fenced in and trapped by them.
When we really begin to contemplate all of the ways that we define ourselves, we come to see that they often hold us at bay from a greater intimacy with the only part of us that is actually real. The identifications often keep us from living true moment to moment and instead imprison us to remain tethered to societal norms and personal expectations that actually have nothing to do with who we ultimately are in the truest sense.
So yes, I recognize that I "do" the following: woman, mother, teacher, author, friend, wife, child, speaker, lawn mower, laundress, soul nurturer, planner, nature lover, blogger, walker, acquaintance, neighbor, biker, reader, daughter and more...
And I recognize that I do these also: spiritual, liberal, white, holistic, American, kind, healthy, feminine, midwestern, funny, heterosexual, angry, middle-aged, introspective, extroverted, loud, quiet, bitchy, silly, intellectual, ignorant, lazy and more...
And yet, I have come to recognize that I am not really any of those things above. Any one of them could change and/or disappear, and I would still be the same. If I lost my capacity to walk, for example, I may no longer be a walker, but I would still be me. If I lost my capacity to teach, I may no longer be a teacher, but I would still be me. If one day I was no longer intelligent, I would still be me.
I would still be the ME underneath all of those identifications. It is this ME that is behind all of these labels that has the capacity for true Soul to Soul with you. It is this ME that lies beyond all that my personality appears to be that has the capacity to know the exquisite JOY of Oneness. It is this ME that can fully feel non-judgment, neutrality, unconditional love, and peace as the basis of reality rather than as a far-off possibility that can only be mastered by one son.
The Big ME is the same as the Big LOVE. It is not personal. It is not limited. It is not incomplete. It encompasses everything and denies nothing. There are no delineations. There are no labels. It arises into the doing itself.
While it doesn't happen overnight that we come to leave all identifications behind, slowly as we go within, we get to know the Big ME better. And from this new vantage point, it becomes much easier to fathom the Big WE. And from there, it becomes much more possible to uplift the whole world.
So please, don't fence me in. Don't fence others in. Don't fence yourself in. We are ALL so much more than that.
Although at times they may be convenient for practical purposes, we don't really need many labels. For sometimes the labels block out the most important aspect of a relationship or an interaction—the warmth, the love and the light—that naturally emanates from what lies underneath, if allowed.
We offer our highest to another when we see them plain and simple as they truly are, as the Big ME, as all that will be left when "death" befalls them and all else fades away—SPIRIT.
Let's shift focus as often as possible away from all of the qualities that make up the Little ME—none of them really matter all that much anyway—and choose instead to go forth in full recognition and appreciation of the Big ME and the Big YOU that make up the Big US and are eternally connected to the Source of all things.
Warmth and LOVE,
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