I-dentify

Has anyone ever wondered whether our sense of Identity holds us back in life or trips us umpteen times over? This is one very curvaceous line I have been trying to understand and navigate since time immemorial. There are times I find myself doing something or not doing something because it fits into the idea of “me-ness”.

“I don’t do this-and-that because it is not me.” Is this valid? Do we know this for sure because we know this part (depends on context) of ourselves so thoroughly and innately that we are affirmative it is beyond us?

I used to be very proud of how I identify with the phrase “mind over matter”, and that I can achieve anything in the world as long as I put my mind to it. I guess that anything makes only as much sense as applicable when I was in school, when everything can be learnt, and if not, memorised. Definitely works for an Asian society so focussed on rote learning. But you know how beliefs instilled in us / ourselves from young actually carry over to adulthood? If we do not examine it in detail, we would be wondering how our blind faith and stubbornness arise, or how when trying to navigate spirituality and listen to the Higher Self, Mind still somehow finds its way into establishing itself. This is very poignant as I lay on the sofa for the fourth day running and wondering why I keep dozing off. YET, I still “refuse to succumb to jetlag”. Well, the truth is jet lag has swallowed me whole, and I’m squirming in its tummy feeling warm and fuzzy. Haha. Silliness.

Then again, how and when do we know that sometimes it really is not me? Albert Einstein supposedly wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” There is a thin line between not being able to do something and not willing to do something, and may I throw in a third – that at times, it is just not worth the time and effort to pursue something because one will just spend 30x that compared with the much better and fun stuff accomplished. If this fish be a mudskipper, it can climb a tree, but I think it would be happier skipping around rocks instead. The Japanese in their usual methodical existence, have a process for finding that sweet spot – ikigai. I have a feeling I am hovering that confluence already.

Not sure how (in)coherent this is. Will edit this post when I’m out of jet lag mode.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for introducing me to the concept of Ikigai. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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