Our Operational MasksEach of us embodies our experiences and interactions with life as we survive and adapt. Proceeding unconsciously, we take this record of the past to be who we are, and use it to operate, not aware of its limitations as a belief system.
Personal Identity - A Mind ConstructIdentity is a mind model of life experience - a web of recorded thoughts, feelings, and actions, influenced by instinctive or genetic predispositions, instilled or adopted beliefs, and cultural conditioning, in addition to formative and adverse life events. Not until adulthood does the mind develop much capacity to observe its own operations or self-awareness.
Personal Identities DifferHaving unique perspectives and experiences, the story weaved by each mind differs from all others. Individuals’ observations, thoughts, feelings, and responses are not the same. Discordance and conflict are therefore inevitable in the course of interpersonal relationships. A personal boundary is the realization that this is normal and a matter of fact, allowing our selves and others to express viewpoints and stories that do not align.
Who Am I Without My Story?Once we realize that our minds are networks we have relied upon to define us, and are past oriented, new possibilities for the present and future arise. By mindfully and compassionately activating the recorded elements that constitute the old story, we build a new mindset for experiencing life as it is now.
Self Inquiry Can Activate Defenses and FeelingsInquiring into and challenging one’s familiar and customary ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving also activate internal resistance (ego defenses) and associated uncomfortable emotions. Go slowly and be compassionate with yourself through the process. Experiencing strong or unfamiliar emotions may warrant additional resources and social support, including professional mental health services.
Offering Loving Awareness Is TransformativeAs you lovingly regard and tease apart patterns of thinking, feeling, and reacting you have identified with, new opportunities for reconditioning and redefining yourself according to what is true now will occur. The more you liberate yourself from limitations based in the past and connect with moment to moment experience the more you become your authentic self.