Be Empowered By Your True Identity
In that strength, in leaning on the personalities of your identity that tend to rise to the top, you become more empowered to bring out other parts of your identity that would otherwise be sheltered from vulnerability.
Hola C hicas
Welcome to another week of the Life Lnxx Podcast as we wrap up January already! Can you believe it? Just like that we are going into month 2 of 22 but even though we’ve checked off 8% of this year already, I hope you are staying in holiday mode with lots of rest, outdoor adventures and getting to see your people.
Community is everything, especially in person. When you are looking at someone, eye to eye, there is no faking emotion or who you are at in the moment. You really want to find your circle of friends that will be there for you through all the feels.
Trust me, you will need them so much through life. Dare. I say, even more than your pets. Now, I know they’re snugly, they’re cozy. They tell you everything you want to hear. Never a bad moment. But just saying, I like the lifespan of my people a little bit more. Been through a lot of pets already. Slays me, but Hmm.
So just a reminder, go out there. Call your friends, text your friends, gather. Find your people. Have a good time. Forget your worries.
Speaking of finding your people, today is National Spouse’s Day. Now, I don’t know what that means for a lot of you. Might be a little on the young side, not thinking that yet, not wanting to give up that girl time. But it means a lot for me. For the first time, in almost a lifetime. And if you want to hear more of that story, go see our post on Instagram, at LifeLnxx, that’s L N double X, to learn more about that story in a nutshell. Plus, there is a really epic picture, a “How it started, how it’s going”. All of a span of four years, but hey, that’s all I had to offer.
So for all of you celebrating today, or didn’t know it was today and still have a moment to just wrap that up and enjoy the moment, may it be a beautiful and blessed one.
Now, if you’re just going out and calling your girlfriends or texting your girlfriends to gather today, I really hope they jump on the opportunity to join in with you. Realizing that why not? Why not be together? Why not celebrate life as it is? Unplanned spontaneous.
The Missing Identity Link
I think that’s the toughest part for me, the spontaneous adventures in this culture where everyone is booked for months ahead of today. It’s my Life Lnxx trait of loving a very social culture where people come first, whether it’s to have a good time or help out. And, although I lived it fully growing up, in a very Hispanic household, it is really difficult to create. And I’m just one generation removed. Early on, my mother began editing my identity, what I looked like, what I wore, who I socialized with, so life would be easier for me. But, really, it’s left a big void that is getting harder for me to fill as we modernize and move away from that cultural lifestyle.
That’s what we are talking about today: how our true identities get edited, even in our childhood, in an attempt to make our lives easier. Usually it’s done by our parents who think it will be easier for us if the pieces that make us different are put away, as if we would never miss them. But that’s not how humans operate. There are so many parts of us that come from generations back and that already makes it tough because we never knew the family member that gave it to us. So, going further and editing out parts of our identity that is known and that we do understood really adds to the confusion, the wondering of “where did I come from then?” Do you feel this?
On any given day you can read someone’s story of feeling at odds with themselves because of how they’ve been raised. It’s really heart wrenching to feel their struggle for truth in their identity. Validation of who you are is imperative to feeling whole and having a sense of self-worth. As a little person, having your identity denied or altered leaves you wondering why you aren’t good enough the way you were born.
An Edited Identity Can Be Confusing
So let’s take a look at that, that missing part of your identity and what that actually feels like.Thankfully, even gleefully, this is an open conversation now that is gaining momentum on so many levels. Yes, there is more empathy needed. But, as we get better at listening, we become more aware of what individuals have endured which in turn creates more empathy.
The stories will have multiple chapters, maybe even rewritten chapters, because being disconnected from your identity leaves you grappling for answers. Just acknowledging that something is “off” is a major personal confrontation. Depending on everything else going on in your life, you might have blamed yourself for far too long. Backing out of that rabbit hole just to get to a place that’s accurate can take half your lifetime.
Then you have to spend more time trying to figure out what’s missing in your life in an attempt to feel whole and at ease. All this while trying to live your life: go to school, start a career, create a social life and maybe a family. These already are major unknowns that could be based on the edited version of your own true identity and lead you down a path that you don’t belong on.
I think the most difficult part is starting the conversation with people that have been part of your life for a long time. But, if you’ve been living on an edited identity, then it’s even harder to describe because all this time, and rightfully so, they’ve been assuming you’re just like them, with your edited identity. There’s a big tendency instead to just go quiet when you’re feeling different than everybody else and deal with the struggle alone. But, that’s not the answer. This world is too big and too difficult to go at it alone.
Roy Choi speaks really eloquently to this on his episode of Apple’s Fitness Plus ‘Time To Walk’. I’m not an ambassador, I just really enjoy learning about these people’s lives. Roy Choi is a Korean American chef, who speaks of his journey, a very circuitous journey, on finding his success with his Koji food trucks and being one of the founders of the gourmet food truck sensation. He speaks about his journey of trying to come full circle with finding his comfort level and what was missing in his life, which ended up being related to his cultural identity. So go take a listen. I think it’s a really great example of what I’m talking about here. You can learn so much from him and what it’s like in starting off with an edited identity and the path that it sends you down
I’m not sure what the answer really is.That is a very personal and subjective answer. I do know that it’s very gratifying to just walk out in the world and live your true identity out loud. Even though you feel really vulnerable, even exposed and alone in it, the happiness of feeling whole, of feeling your real self, will shine from you and people will take notice.In this space, happy with living true to who you are, your people will gravitate to you. They will see you when others couldn’t hear you.
Why True Identity Gets Edited
I revisit this scenario over and over again, as I get older, and hopefully, maybe you’re doing the same with situations that you (air quotes) handled at a younger age. We deal with challenges as they come up and believe them to be taken care of. We put them away. We have felt it, it has grown old. We think it’s over. We put them away, but more likely than not, these solutions are not completely resolved. First of all, they were dealt with a much younger maturity, if they happened in the past and a much younger, emotional capacity. So as we get older, we constantly need to reopen and reevaluate what really occurred from a more mature mindset. That maturity comes from experiencing more life scenarios and developing a deeper empathy because we personally need our own empathy for our younger self.
For me, especially as I became my mother’s only advocate, I realized that she had spared me the sadness she had felt in experiencing life here. She avoided tainting my own experience with hers and instead, was trying to give me the best chance of assimilating into a country that she knew would balk at differences and that would make it harder on me, just like it was on her. My mother felt the need to act like the “american” that others expected of her but never fully accepted her anyway.
This was really hard on her. For as much as she worked so hard to fit in and perform well here, my mother was never really accepted as an equal, let alone more successful. Her story is similar to many who leave their country, already professionally successful, multi-lingual and educated only to come here and have to start over. Engineers, doctors, scientists from other countries whose expertise and credentials are high accolades, in their own countries, come here only to find they aren’t valid.
Having now lived through most of my mother’s experiences, I understand why she edited my identity as a child. Even my name was going to be different but the funny thing is that my dad insisted I be named after her. Something I am forever grateful to him for.
So, as we get older, it’s so necessary to step back into those early years and understand, empathize, with what our parents were going through, so we have a better comprehension of understanding their decisions.
How Your True Identity Gets Edited
So why would a person’s true identity be edited, even from childhood? I’ll give you some examples and thinking about your own situation, if you resonate with any of this.
My mother’s awareness of what life here would be like started with my older brothers, born significantly before me, and in a very different societal setting of the 50’s. Back then, she was full of Peruvian pride and wanting her children to be fully raised in her culture. She took my older brothers to Peru often so they were both bi-ligual by the time they went to grade school.
But, that’s when the proverbial stuff hit the fan and the boys were often ridiculed and beaten because they “talked funny”. The anxiety became so bad for them that it affected their life journey immediately. Whereas one retreated, the other insisted on becoming the typical white guy in America and dismissing everything associated with his heritage. I am not sure which situation broke my mom’s heart more; her one son struggling with his peers because of her heritage or having a son dismiss her completely in order to avoid the ridicule.
By the time I was born, and especially being the only girl, my mother had vowed to raise me purely American. She had developed this underlying fear that her culture, her beloved Peruvian culture, had led to potential harm, whether bias or physical interaction. And, as a mother, you fiercely protect your children. So, this fear began the first unraveling of our generational knowledge. Instead of feeling free to pass on her knowledge, her culture, this knowledge was filtered and edited to make life here more acceptable to others.
As I have gone through my own life experiences, I truly understand the fear she had for me. There is some kind of Mama Bear DNA that still tethers you to your child and you will do anything to protect them. My mama mantra is “do what you will to me but don’t you hurt my child”. Oh, woof! You’re going to see a whole other person come out. And even so, the choices made to protect your children sometimes come with consequences you don’t even see. But, in that moment, in the need to protect them, it just doesn’t matter. You would do anything.
Why Is True Identity Important?
Parts of True Identity Get Lost
So why is it so important to go back and find your true identity? After all, our families came here one way or another, unless they were natively from here. And, in doing so, brought global experiences and knowledge all into this one country.
Still, DNA doesn’t recognize that your soul, who you are, is in a different place than where it came from. That DNA, that generational development back in another time and another country, may continue to yearn for the cultural relationship that created it. An individual’s DNA may pulse with its Life Link from generations past, causing the person to feel totally isolated, like a fish out of water. At that point, blending into the American culture may feel like being an imposter in your own country; not because you don’t belong, surely you belong here, but rather, you’re thriving with a culture that was left behind.
So, being true to your identity, even though it can feel like a struggle because you can’t quite tap into it easily, brings comfort, self-esteem and belonging, regardless of where you are living. All the anxiety of living a different life, a lesser version of your life, will begin to fall away if you follow your true identity. Embracing it soothes your mind – no more second guessing on what’s the right thing to do, or say or dress like, and more, going with that soulful feeling, going with your gut. “This is what feels good to me. I’m going to do it because it’s good for me, because it makes me happy and that happiness should be bringing happiness to others, not harm.
Those little, simple things can be really difficult. The only way for your people to find you, f or you to find what your circle is, what makes you feel complete, is if you’re living your sassy identity out loud because blending in, even in that simplest concept, leaves you lost among the masses.
Loss of Identity is Loss of Knowledge
Another important piece of living your true identity is maintaining the knowledge from generations past, especially culturally. We are at a very pivotal time in civilization when knowledge is no longer being handed down verbally to the next generation. Now,couple that with an immigrant hesitancy to blend into a new country and centuries of family and cultural knowledge is being lost.
Now, yes, this loss has been occurring for generations – loss of knowledge, loss of language, loss of family history – but look how much people yearn for it once they don’t have it. It was brought into the spotlight during the pandemic as we learned of the virus’ harsh impact on the Native American populations. The threat of losing their elders in large numbers to the virus was even greater for people whose elders harbor the tribal history and the culture. The isolation disrupted the native tradition of sharing the knowledge verbally.
Realizing this, the Native American youth passionately turned to preserving the knowledge from their elders. But, communication was difficult because of the loss of language; language that was either not passed on or not learned by the next generation. The disruption in knowledge is permanent if the language is lost. The explanation of one’s true identity is lost and left to be reconstructed with missing pieces.
For me, not being raised bi-lingual is my missing piece because I was cut off from learning so much about my family and their experiences. My mother refused to speak to me in Castellano, (She didn’t call it Spanish. She would correct people. “I don’t speak Spanish, I speak Castellano.”) And, even though it was spoken more than English among all the women in our house; my mom, my tia and abuelita, I was not part of the conversation. I was forced to learn Castellano on my own because I could hear my name in the conversation – “Do-do-do-doot Consuelito. Do-Doot Consuelito.” That’s me because I was the second Consuelo – and I wanted to know what they were talking about. So between tuning an ear and learning, just like a little child, and then taking Spanish in school, I finally got to the point where I could understand the full conversation.
What really saddened me was not being able to talk with my abuelita, especially because my mother would always say “you are just like my mother. Why do you have to be like that?” I really wanted to know. I realized my grandmother had all the answers of our shared identity; why we did the things we did. And she would have been a great ally for me because my mom totally loved and cared for her mother. But, before I could speak a word with her, she passed away and with her, all the knowledge that my mother refused to pass on.
The Universe has a purpose for your true identity
Ultimately, the most compelling reason for living your true identity is that it puts you on your intended course. The reason you are here on this planet. Living your identity fully comes naturally to you. It comes from your soul. You see it best in little children who can strike some dance moves or break into characters that were never taught to them. They are living their true identity out loud with innocence.
You still have the capacity to do the same, but it may be a tad more difficult. You may have experienced a reaction from others or felt too vulnerable to be alone in your identity. But living true to yourself, to what feels natural to you, will remove any second guessing of what you’re supposed to do or act like because you have taken your brain out of the equation and living purely from within your soul.
There’s lots of different personalities wrapped up in your identity and that makes it so much fun and sometimes a tad tricky. I say I have 27 personalities as a way to explain my diverse passions that don’t seem to go together. Even so, there are definitely the dominant ones that are consistent and most easily accessible. These will be where you gain your strength from even though they may not be strong characteristics.
In that strength, in leaning on the personalities of your identity that tend to rise to the top, you become more empowered to bring out other parts of your identity that would otherwise be sheltered from vulnerability. You see how piece by piece you can bring out your entire identity? It’s like a puzzle. At first you just have all these pieces that don’t seem to fit together. And then you find a couple that do, then a few more and pretty soon you begin to get a picture of what, or in this case, who you are supposed to be.
Put Your True Identity Together One Piece At A Time
So, ladies, take some time in your ever evolving life to look back and understand who you come from and the knowledge that can be passed on to you because that knowledge, those people, explain a lot of who you are today and what’s pulsing within you. Anything as simple as a family recipe all the way to homeopathic medicine might be something you are craving or need in the moment. You are the vessel for bringing this forward in humanity. This knowledge will make you whole because, as I mentioned, you may be thinking you know what’s best for you, but your soul is living what’s best for you. Stop thinking and start living.
I bring a piece of my mom forward in a picture that’s on our website, at lifelnxx.com, that’s L-N-Double X. It’s a picture of me in a dress that she made for her Civil Ceremony wedding in Arequipa, Peru. You can read the story behind the dress and why I ended up in that gorgeous photo shoot. It’s in the article on the website, under our blog tab, so you can read it there. . It’s also on my LinkedIn Profile, at Consuelo Crosby, so go take a peek, follow me, and let me know what you think. I hope that dress stays in our family for generations to come and we can readily pass on the story of how Consuelo Vargas de Menendez fell in love with a guy named Jo from Wyoming.
I would love to see how you live your true identity out loud, so tag us in a picture @LifeLnxx on Instagram or Facebook. Our global audience is absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to see you, appreciate you and embrace you for who you are.
Step into your truth, ladies! Ciao!