Identity is a prison

Identity is a prison. All our vulnerabilities lie in this very definition we create for ourselves.
For example:
A girl may identify with her good looks during teenage years. However the effort required to maintain this identity would progressively increase as she gets older and gets subjected to various external events such as child birth, stress, hormonal shifts etc.

If a girl’s looks were average to below average during formative years, she may adopt a different identity which may be based on goodness, humor, wit, performance in school or work, popularity, social likability, selfless service, power, influence etc. She may increase her attractiveness quotient by being very nice to people, seduce, flirt, smile a lot etc.

Beautiful girls identifying themselves with it would go to great lengths to maintain it. Similarly if a person identifies himself with his health, he too would put a lot of effort in maintaining it.

We generally quickly identify with all the aspects in which we feel we have an inherent advantage. Since each identity definition faces threats we identify with multiple aspects of ourselves. For eg: A person may consider himself a musician, writer, good father, good family man, moralistic, faithful etc.

Certain definitions last much longer than others. For example, if we identity ourselves with principles then it is at a higher level than identifying ourselves with our individual actions. Higher the definition of this identity, more the freedom.

Each identification makes us correspondingly vulnerable in those aspects and there are different levels to these identities. For example: Social validation might be creating most of your motivations. So the motivations you have currently may not have any essence, you may just be doing all those things to satisfy a higher need such as social validation.

If we dis-identify with everything then we would have the most freedom. We can progressively dis-identify, move to higher levels and gain more freedom.

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