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The Question of Identity


Who Are You?
1:45 from the Babylon-5 episode "Comes the Inquisitor."

It feels very, very strange to be wrestling with this question right now. For most of my life, I have felt very sure that I knew who I was. My sense of identity was composed of both internal and external reference points: my beliefs, my dreams and desires, my family and the roles and expectations that came with it, my achievements and experiences. But the older I've become, and especially over the past two years, the less certain I've felt.

Unemployment has brought this to. . . not exactly a "crisis point" but a pitch of intensity. It's not because I over-identified with my employment as a source of identity and that identity has been lost. It's because I have not been able -- yet -- to manifest something concrete to fill the time that unemployment has given me. It's not even a matter of successful business development, it's the ongoing struggle to fill the hours in a creative, meaningful way.

As I wrote a few days ago, I'm struggling against entropy, and it's frightening to feel as if I have very little internal grounding from which to successfully make that struggle.

If I am who I say I am, who I believe I am, why I am I not being who I say I am? Am I who I thought I was after all? Or am I something -- someone -- else?

Swedenborg said that love without action is meaningless sentiment, and that what we do is the truest reflection of what we truly love. And what we love, especially our "ruling love" is the most telling indicator of who we are at our core.

Even that which I say I love most doesn't seem to be having a meaingful impact on what I do these days.

I haven't been doing much.

Am I so hollow at my core?

Not hollow as in "shallow" or "without feeling", but hollow as in lacking something essential.

I am not without a sense of self, not without love, not without urgings toward meaningful goals. I just seem to lack a center where everything is deeply rooted so it can manifest in a way that is meaningful.

I'm working on this. It's a strange sensation to realize that I'm not sure what I'm going to find, what I'm going to be when it's over. I can't imagine that it would so much different from what I think I am, what I want to be. . . but maybe I'll be surprised.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 14th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Of course, part of the point was to shake her up and push her to extremis. The key wasn't "Who are you?" it was "Are you willing to give your life, for one person, in the dark?"
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 14th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
It's not going to work out for today, but I do appreciate the invitation. Rain check?
Aug. 16th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
I'm afraid that what went through my head a the appropriate reply was, "Who am I? I'm the person who's going to shove that cane up your smug backside if given half a chance..."
Aug. 16th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Queen of Swords

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