February 23, 2024

I kept thinking to myself, wow, this is so me


Our identity is not a liability.

Quite the opposite. It’s an asset. Maybe even a superpower.

Because when we know who we are, we’re not easily threatened or thrown off course by inaccurate reflections in the mirror of the world’s expectations. If people’s feedback doesn’t track with who we know ourselves to be, their words simply slide right off us like a loose sock.

As we’re truly secure in ourselves, we alone can figure out how to take care of our needs and wants without society’s preconceived notions influencing our decisions.

Hobbes’s famous proverb, scientia potential est, or knowledge is power, comes into play here.

Particularly as it relates to knowledge of the self. The more we can understand own sensations, thoughts, beliefs, and other mental states, the better. The nature of our acquaintance with our unique mental, physical, emotional and spiritual reality is the ultimate form of leverage.

What’s fascinating is, a person can deepen their identity awareness virtually anytime, anywhere. There is no task, project, activity, endeavor or interaction in which we can’t learn about ourselves.

Not if our intention is to walk away with some parcel of new knowledge.

Pressfield, the award winning author and screenwriter, published a book about what he calls the artist’s journey. He says that ready or not, all creatives are called. But whether we live it out, follow our muse and do the work we were born to do, only we can decide that. Each of us has an ordeal that we have survived and a passage that we have paid for with our own blood. Not undertaken for its own sake, but as a portal to insight and enlightenment.

Steve’s words remind us that whatever our chosen format is, whether it’s books or film or music or dance, the true artistic output is ourselves. The medium is us. We are both canvas and creator.

The creative project we’re working on is our identity. Everything else is just an artifact.

Now, this might be difficult for certain people to wrap their western, capitalistic, binary heads around. What I’m referring to above is about as process oriented as one can get. And the vast majority of creatives are focused on product, not process.

The intention behind the work is to make a specific, intended object that has market appeal and accomplishes a certain career goal.

Which isn’t a good or bad thing. I’m not passing any judgment on how people make things. There’s no right or wrong way to be an artist.

But personally, embracing my own artistic apotheosis has proven to be a profoundly nourishing experience. If you’re able to do it, it’s worth the price of admission. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever imagined.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll walk away with a beautiful work of art to share with the world.

At the very least, you’ll strengthen the asset of your own identity.

You’ll bolster your psychological stability, which will come in handy next time people say you’re insane.

What recent experience afforded you greater identity awareness?