Updated: Jun 14
You Are Nobody!
I'm not trying to be rude or anything but the fact is, that who you truly are is nobody. That doesn't mean you are insignificant. To the contrary, this realisation, firstly, provided me with immense relief, and secondly, made me more important and valuable than ever.
I first started thinking about this in my readings on Buddhist and Yogic philosophies as well as other spiritual and personal development readings, such as Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) and Carolyn Elliot (Existential Kink). Each idea touches on different aspects but all essentially point to the same thing. Eckhart Tolle is very much in line with Eastern philosophies, that speak of our identity being constructs of our mind and created by our past and that these constructions of a lived past and memory are illusions. Carolyn Elliot, and her Existential Kink method, argues that we think we are one thing, but we are actually made up of a lot more than what we allow ourselves to see. She doesn't exactly say that we are nothing and nobody. But she says when we embrace all of our shadows, we can release them. The result is, that with the awakening of pure, and unbiased consciousness, we can change our constructed identity. Therefore our perceived identity is nothing tangible, entirely replaceable and ultimately unreal.
Loss Of Identity
Losing your identity is a painful process. Perhaps it even sounds a bit like going mad. You don't have to be going mad, though, to experience a loss of identity. It happens to us all the time within our life's experiences.
Divorce is a common and huge experience in which we lose identity. Particularly when children are part of the picture. A huge part of ourselves dies. 2 become 1 and all the ideas and lifestyles you have, make a 180 degree turn. Your life gets turned upside down. Everything changes. And if you have children, the changes are even more drastic. Suddenly you go from your days filled with the laughter (and screams) of children, to days of complete silence and solitude (To the parents reading this, I know this sounds amazing but that's a whole other thing :)). You lose your identity as a partner, as a parent (to a certain extent) and as a family.
Loss of wealth is a huge one of course. Loosing a fortune will change so much of what you thought yourself to be. But we don't have to be that extreme. Losing your phone will be enough to feel a loss of identity in our day and age of social media identities.
And this has been my personal recent loss. My Instagram account was taken over and I was locked out completely. I had put a good couple of years of work into it, built up a humble but decent following and created an income stream through it. All that hard work crumbled to nothing from one moment to the next. I went through all the stages of grief. Denial, anger, sadness and acceptance. Those emotions ran on repeat a few times, or just errupted randomly throughout the day. A part of me died. I can't deny it. I was incredibly attached to that account. And I realised that I don't like this attachment at all.
I Am Nothing - I Am Everything
So suddenly I was nowhere to be found. My Insta identity was somebody else and I had been wiped off the Insta map. As far as my little brand is concerned, it was no more. I was nothing without it (of course this was all in the sense of my brand identity, but since it's a personal brand it's a big part of 'who I am').
But then something interesting happened. Almost simultaneously with the sense of loss and grief, came a sense of relief. My mind had been largely filled with content creation for that particularly identity I had online. Of course my intention is to be authentic, but the pressure of constantly having to keep up with the online world, the algorithms...staying relevant...is tiring. That pressure suddenly lifted. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I HAD TO do. I was free in that moment.
What now? Now I can be whoever I want to be, I can take my time and fill my life (and content) with whatever I want it to, and not just for the sake of it. I could have done that before too but the identity/mind construct had locked me into a pattern. And from the feeling of freedom I suddenly felt without it, I knew that couldn't have been good.
So yes, I am nothing and everything. Because I don't have to be the image of my minds constructs, because my mind is MINE. And who I am is not what my mind decides. I simply Am! And from that place I can build whatever construct I want.
Trash that Identity
The only obstacle to being whoever we want to be, is that most of us aren't aware of the vast amount of mind constructs that are holding us back.
Loosing your identity, in whatever way that may happen in your life, may be painful. Nay, it bloody hurts! But it's also just the right slap in your face, to wake you up, let the construction collapse and build a better one. Or better yet, not build one at all and keep the path free to see the light...
Being nothing means we are not what our, or anybody else’s minds have created us to be.
The relief of this realisation is that you no longer have to live up to any expectations.
Finally, you have become so much more important and valuable because you are free. And this freedom means the potential to discover unique beauty and forces that only you possess. Who knows what you can unleash into this world…