Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mistaken Identity 2: What You're Not

Yesterday, I talked about mistaken identity. I'm continuing to sort out the whole timeshare issue, but I wanted to keep this conversation going for a bit, if I may.

I mentioned that knowing what you are not is at least a step in the right direction, even when you aren't sure what you are. And while I praise those of you who have taken that step, do not fall into the trap of thinking you can live that way.

You cannot live based on what you're not.

It just doesn't work. If you live your life thinking, consciously, at each turn, "I am not _____," then what your mind actually hears is: _______. If you say, "I am not a scaredy cat," then your mind fixates on "scaredy cat" and thus makes you MORE likely to give in to that very thing which you know you are not. And if you look at a situation with all that you aren't in the forefront of your mind, you will know very well what you shouldn't do (or can't do or won't do), but you'll have little idea what to actually do next.

Still, there is a tremendous blessing in knowing what you aren't when you are able to move past those thoughts. Knowing what you are not is an invitation to living.

It is an invitation to take in every moment, to take it captive to the Truth, to hold it up before God and pray, in every second, "Lord, is what I am about to do a true part of me or is it nothing more than habit?" And if you know and can catch the conscious thought that you are about to respond in habit rather than wholeness, you can stop yourself and take a second to consider the situation. If you are not your habit, then what are you?

For example: if you run into a long-lost friend who knows you only as you used to be - say, you were kind of a braggart, always rubbing your victories in her face - and she baits you into spinning off about your latest accomplishments, but you catch that voice in your head that says you don't need to do that, that in Truth, you are more than a loud exhibition of yourself...then you have the chance to pause, to think about it, and to respond more authentically, more honestly, and more honorable. "Oh, things are great. But I want to know all about what you're up to!" You can get excited about your friend and without a second thought to yourself. Then, when things get quiet again, you suddenly realize that you didn't answer out of habit; you answered to something greater.

And you know what? You didn't for one instant miss being that which you aren't. There wasn't this sadness in you that you passed on that chance. Instead, there is peace and a strange energy that spurs you forward, that makes that little voice in your head stronger the next time it tells you that you're responding as you thought you were and not as you truly are.

You'll never look back in life and regret honest moments. And honest moments often begin in knowing who you are not. As long as you take the invitation to move a step closer in those moments to knowing who you really are. And living as such.

Who are you? Do you know? Do you know who you are not? Can you think of a situation in which you have heard that voice, that Truth, asking you why you're doing that, selling yourself short? What is that voice inviting you to discover about yourself?

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