Morning. Or evening.

Shifting perception. Not in the way of a camera focusing and then going out of focus; rather in the way of shifting your gaze minutely to the left or right.

Try it.

Stare at a point of something in front of you then shift your sight just slightly to the right.

The perception changes, if only a small amount.

I have taken this into consideration recently in how to work through my husband’s disappointment in my real estate pursuit. I really, really dislike real estate. A lot. A great deal. And as I do not have to do real estate, I have decided pretty much unequivocally that it is not for me. Even if I did have to do something like real estate, I would forego the “flexibility” of this hellish career for something a lot less flexible… like stocking shelves at the grocery store.

Anyway, off on a tangent: my point is that my husband is very disappointed and discouraged in my “quitter attitude.” I think he wanted me to be part of the real estate world because this kind of sales profession is his world. I believe, in a way, he felt a comradeship with me that does not exist otherwise. I mean, we have other connections and similar likes, but as sales is so much part of his life, my being in sales felt warm and fuzzy to him.

I feel bad about this, of course, because I hate the sales world he thrives in. He is very good at sales, and in many ways really enjoys the world.

I, on the other hand, pretty much tucked my tail between my legs and ran whimpering the other way. I should have known, of course… but as all things and every thing, hindsight is 20/20.

And now he is disappointed. And upset. And irritated.

At first, I took his reactions on as my own. I became defensive. I felt guilty. Bad. Like I had FAILED (again for the millionth time in my life), and I was down deep and dark in that old familiar way of the world sinking down on me. Thankfully, over the last four months I have regained a level of yoga practice and meditation that at least slowed the downward spiral. As such, I was able to create space and time to move through the experiences and the emotions, allowing an epiphany moment in the shower:

I must shift my perception of the situation.

As I remind my son on a pretty daily basis: we are only in charge of ourselves. We are not responsible for others and their actions. Ever.

Apparently, I need to be reminded of this daily as well, because I forgot. I forgot that my husband’s emotions of disappointment and irritation about me leaving real estate are HIS emotions. These are HIS reactions.

I am not responsible for them.

I think so many of us forget to follow our path, our instincts, emotions, body, and heart because we perceive what others think as a guidepost. But what others think is never a guidepost.

Of course, there are consequences to our actions; however, what other people think is not on you… ever. Can your actions cause rifts in a friendship, or family? Of course, and how YOU react to those things is entirely your responsibility, but never how THEY act or react.

Shifting perception.

Group think is a real and honest to goodness thing. It is an evolutionary pattern that has existed for centuries to create safety… safety in numbers, right? However, as we slowly emerge from the era of hunter and gatherer (and if you don’t think we are still in this evolution pattern, take a look around), trusting our own Truth, and our own Path is becoming something of more importance.

Now, I know my thoughts on this are very much dictated by a belief that we all have a reason for existence… a special and individualized purpose for our lives.

I also think, though, that our individualized purpose is for the greater good. As such, it is incredibly important to trust ourselves; to be able to root down, to move through life with that connection to something Bigger… despite, or perhaps even because of, how other people react.

So. Perception. Shifting the gaze just a little bit to the right.

A little bit to the left.

To see something new in something familiar.

Identity Magic

The Identity Question

Identity. The what. The how. The where.

Lacan spoke of a space in language that exists between the point a word is spoken and the point it is heard. The speaker talks… there is a space of existence… the listener hears. This no-man’s land is where the language exists as itself. There is no meaning because it no longer has the meaning the speaker gives it, and has yet to receive the meaning the listener assigns it.

A point of no explanation. Of no identity.

As humans, where does this point exist? Where is the point of no identity? Is it what we project; the point the projection is received by others; or the point in between, the point which neither projection nor reception exists?

There are so many aspects of identity. We are any random thing at any random moment. Sometimes we are a child. Sometimes we are the parent. Sometimes we are a stranger, and yet sometimes a friend. It seems, as I write this out, much of identity exists as a way to define our role in the world.

We are a child in relation to another person; the same for a parent.

Those examples, among thousands, are identity structures that exist because the definition is in relation to someone, or something else.

But what if I turn that around?

I identity as heterosexual. Is this in relation to another? Or a way of separating myself from those who identity as homosexual, or bisexual?

And what about identifying as female?

Or identifying as Caucasian?

All of those things are to create an understanding in how I am different from others; or what my relationship is to others. Do these things, or rather, do these methods, help me to understand WHO I am, and if they do so, should they?

Should I identify myself with a method that separates me from others by assigning characteristics that are in contrast?

Our world is focused on how we are different. I am poor. He is wealthy. I am intelligent. She is stupid. When we identify, rarely do we identify in relation to similarities. Sometimes we do, when surrounded with the same identity structure — writing groups where everyone is a writer, or a church where everyone has the same belief system — but even within those social structures, we set ourselves apart.

Why is that?

It makes me think of that point in language, when no meaning is assigned. Is there meaning at that point? I don’t know; it is kind of like the question of whether or not a falling tree makes a sounds in the forest if no one is there to hear it it.

Philosophically, there are many different arguments and answers yet no truth in so much as there is no ability to prove anything.

Same as identity.

We spend our lives trying to figure out who we are, and where we fit in. We assign roles, identity structures, but for what purpose and reason? To limit ourselves? Or to create guiding principles?

What do you think?