CREDOS: True identity — II

I have had to struggle to pull myself from the Collective They. At various times I have lived out of narrowly prescribed identities that I accepted and internalised from the Collective: dutiful and submissive wife, ever-sacrificing mother, armoured career woman, perfectionist, pleaser, performer, good little girl who never coloured outside the lines drawn for her. Sometimes I was so busy being tuned in to outside ideas, expectations, and demands, I failed to hear the unique music in my soul. I forfeited my ability to listen creatively to my deepest self, to my own God within. I was wearing the name “They.”

When I wear this name I am limited in my ability to relate to others in a genuinely compassionate way. I am separated from them by the masks that keep me from being real with them.

Stuck in the Collective They, I am more apt to relate out of my ego needs, from the subtleties of my false selves and from mandates and demands placed on me from others, rather than love born in my own heart.

One day driving down the street, I asked myself, “Sue Monk Kidd, who are you?” Right away the obvious answers came. “You are Bob and Ann’s mother, Sandy’s wife, Leah and Ridley’s daughter, a writer, a member of Grace Episcopal Church.” All nice things. Then I asked myself. “So, if all those roles were stripped away, then who would you be?” The question jolted me. It brought me to stand before the bare mystery of my own being. —