Owning our identity, not delegating it.

Most mornings, this is one of the places I choose to sit when I want to think. I had, as usual a blog I wrote yesterday ready to go this morning, but then life took, as it does, a sharp left (or in this case, right) turn and made the post irrelevant for today. It will have to wait till later, today, some reflection was required.

Like I think just about everybody else, I am bemused and alarmed by the events unfolding in Washington. Every genius has it’s shadow, and I think that is what we’re seeing. America’s idea of itself coming face to face with a possible reality. There is no satisfaction in it. On balance, America is good for the world although right now the mantle of “leader of the free world” is sitting somewhat askew. The 25th amendment has been there for a long time and never used. If not now, what will it take I wonder? Americans have a lot to think about. My very best wishes are with them as they do. We all have an interest in them getting it right.

What it took me to is a matter of identity. We talk about it glibly in many arenas although in reality our identity – our sense of our true selves, is the most important thing we have. As we live our life it grows and determines the course of our lives, and our relationship with that life.

The most dangerous thing we can do is rely on somebody else to shape it. Unless we take responsibility, any deviation from a story we’ve adopted from someone else becomes a betrayal, and we seek to place blame. We “other” it.

When we take responsibility, sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we’re on the receiving end of somebody else’s, sometimes we have to sacrifice, and sometimes shit just happens that is nobody’s fault. Wherever on that scale, our reaction defines the health of our own true self.

What I saw last night was a lot of people betrayed not only by the system, but by someone whose story they had adopted, someone in possibly the world’s most responsible formal position happy to abuse them for his own ends.

None of us are immune. We have to be very careful whose story we choose to be part of.

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