The words we speak has a deep and unconscious effect on us. Our behaviour is constantly learning from what we speak to ourselves and others.
When we speak grateful words, our mind is learning the quality of gratefulness. When we are complaining, bitching and whining, our mind is learning those qualities too, and soon turns them into habits.
In everyday life, there are often times when we have to introduce ourselves.
‘Who are you?’
The question fundamentally is a very important one. It is also an opportunity to think about who you really are! Alas, most of us are too careless about it. We tend to immediately define ourselves with our name and/or a profession. For example:
“I am sarthak. I am architect who graduated from CEPT university, I am also a chess player, and I love music and writing…etc.”
As I speak this, I am setting a boundary of a definition within my own mind.
- When I say ‘I am an architect’ I am ignoring and belittling every other role that I play in life.
- When I say ‘I am Sarthak’ I am referring to this body and mind, ignoring that I am a life in form of human, just like you. And I am also ruling out a possibility that ‘I’ could also exist outside of my body.
Everytime I define myself in such a way, this boundary becomes stronger and stronger and makes it more difficult to break out of it.
So let us go deeper about this understanding of definition and its consequences
What creates the definitions?
When you were born, you had no identification, not even your name! As you grew up, the world around you started defining you in order to deal with you.
First they gave you a name. Then they taught you language. Then came the family, religion, culture, country, career..etc. And hence, the ego (false identity) is built.
As they give you these, your mind being very sensitive and defenseless, accepted those identities and believed them to be true. You never had a chance to question them, because you were always ‘kept busy’.
So at first, you are defined by the society around you, and your mind in turn accepts that and always tries to defend it.
The consequences of definitions.
Imagine a good sportsmen ended up winning an important event. Then, he did it again next year. By winning the event 2-3 time in a row his mind created an identity of a winner. And of course, the people around him also started treating him as a champion.
Now when the next time this person is at the game, he is burdened by his identity of a champion. ‘I am a champion, I can’t lose.’ To add to his burden are the expectations of the audience. While playing the game, he is at this conflict with his own mind. He has a fear of losing and naturally his performance goes down.
Another example is very common and maybe you can relate to it too:
Two strange people get to know each-other. They become friends, and as time goes by they become very close. They start calling themselves ‘best-friends’ or ‘lovers’. Meanwhile, the people around are reacting in such a way that it strengthens this definition.
The definition of ‘lovers’ or ‘best friends’ create expectations in both about how things should be. They have created a ‘boundary of behaviour‘ which they have accepted as a fact. And whenever things go outside of this boundary, they have a fight. One fight triggers more fights until their beautiful relationship is destroyed into pieces.
So how could that have been avoided?
- If I don’t identify myself as a winner, then I know that it is a game and anything can happen. I am not burdened by my own thoughts. And I am wise enough to resist the reactions of the audience. In this case, I am getting out of my own way. I may not win the event for the 4th time, but at least it will not be because of my own limitations. And even losing it will not be painful, because I am open to accept that anything is possible.
- If we do not define our relationship, we are open to accept any kind of behaviour. We do not bind ourselves with the things that ‘should be‘ and start living with the things ‘that are!
When we don’t define, we are open to change, which is inevitable for everything in the world.
Our ultimate goal?
We were born without identities, and when we die we will have to let go of all of them. My identity about work, money, relationships will prove their insignificance at the time of death.
So we are best left undefined. The beauty of things and relationships is in the way that they are. It is most often spoiled when we get into the mindset of ‘should be’.
It takes a lot of effort to question who you think you are, and even more effort to reject the opinions of society about you. But if there is such a thing as a goal, it should be to destroy all false identities, be open, flexible and to know always that EVERYTHING is possible, when you do not choose! And that is beauty!
Hope this gave you some valuable insights. Be unknown, undefined. Be like water, able to accept any shape that is needed! 😊
Featured image credits: pixabay
Similar readings from my blog