I wonder if you have ever considered; what is your primary identity? And it was once suggested to me that if I haven’t, I am limiting how I experience life. Maybe, like I was, you aren’t even aware that you have a primary identity or even a secondary or third, fourth, or fifth identity and that each identity is often context (situation-ally) dependent. Did you know our identity is how we see ourselves and it is the filter(s) we use to cope, deal and live our lives. They are not good or bad and one is not better than the other, they just give us different experiences.
What our identity does regardless of whether it is in the foreground or background or whether it is primary or not is, it determines what values, beliefs and behaviors we have access to in any given situation. And our values and beliefs are what determine how we believe what we believe and the behavior and actions we take in respond to those values and beliefs. It limits us from believing or having any other possible responses. Our identity determines whether we can believe something or not.
I offer that we cannot act or behave any other way than as our identity allows you to. The more limited our identity in a given situation the less flexibility and choice of response and action we will have. The more open or unlimited our identity the more flexibility, choice of response and action we will have. And the more flexibility we have will determine how much peace of mind, joy, happiness, emotional pain or suffering we will experience. Your primary identity is usually set by you without even a second thought and you may not even be aware that you can and have the ability to change any of your identities including which one you use as your primary identity.
What is your primary identity?
Primary in that this identity usually encompasses and/or colors all your other identities. Some of your identities may be spouse, parent, teacher, protector, writer, student, employer, employee, lover, friend, acquaintance, etc. Your primary identity usually determines if you see yourself as a victim, victory or at cause or effect in your life.
In America society it appears that many people have primary identities based on race, gender, religion (which includes political affiliations). Even though we are not supposed to discriminate, based on these distinction, when we make them our primary identity we automatically do what we are not supposed to do according to the laws of the land. We don’t discriminate consciously on purpose but an identity based on race, gender, religion automatically discriminates because of the values and beliefs that are included in each identity.
If your primary identity is that of a women all your values, beliefs, behaviors and actions are limited to those values and beliefs that make up the identity of a woman. If your primary identity is that of a gay person all your values, beliefs, behaviors and actions are limited to those values and beliefs that make up the identity of a gay person. The same is true for a black person and if you see yourself as a black woman you limit yourself to two sets of limitations (or beliefs) it becomes the combination of black values and beliefs and women’s values and beliefs. Then throw other things in the mix like nationality and we are in for an interesting mix.
Recently, I learned that someone with the primary identity of black female in America could not get a sense of ownership of America. And when I try on the primary identity of black female I fully get the experience of not being able to feel ownership of America. Now I do know other black females that do have a sense of ownership of America and yet when you check with them their primary identity is that of American Citizen and black female is in some other position other than primary. When we are not aware that we can change our primary identity or any other identity we hold, we not only get stuck but then we think ours is right for us because that is all we know.
Examples of primary identities that display in the physical would be Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner and Rachel Dolezal. One is a primary identity of gender and the other of race. When you have a primary identity it requires the values and beliefs of that particular identity.
What many are not aware of is each and every one of us have the skill and ability to take on ANY IDENTITY we want and because we can do that we do not have to be confined to just one primary identity. We can experience other’s primary identity and we can expand our own experience of this life by moving up into identities that include more and as we do the values and beliefs shift from exclusionary to inclusionary. For example the primary identity of human includes gender, race and religion, it does not discriminate it sees all equal, with the same abilities, powers and skills.
How does one change their primary identity? One way is to use one of the fundamentals of [an exquisite] life…
Energy flows, builds, charges and strengthens where attention goes.
Simply take the time to focus on what it would be like to experience life as (a) ________. (fill in the blank). What would things look like, how would they sound, what would I feel if I were ________. If you spend 15 to 20 minutes a day doing this within 30 days you will find your beliefs shifting to be more inclusionary and understanding where others are coming from and where their limitations are and how you can expand beyond those specific limitations for yourself.
If you want an identity that is broader and more inclusive and gives more freedom, peace, joy, happiness and less pain, worry, stress and less demanding that others must believe as you do try the primary identity of Divine-Human. This identity can allow you to hold every other identity without charge or demand that others must or should believe as you do.
Another game to play with this ability that you didn’t know you had is take any identity and hold a percentage of it as you. Then play with a different percentage. Try 50%, 10%, 85%, 2%, 100%, 8%. Have fun in finding and playing with what is your primary identity?
Remember, whatever is your primary identity is how you will experience the world. It doesn’t make it true, just how you experience the world and you have the skill and ability to use any primary identity to shift how you experience the world.