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    (Yeah! How’s that for a light and inviting thread title??????????)

    “There is only one spiritual principle: God, instead of me.” — Don M. Louisville, KY


    “Who am I?”

    That is a question that I have only seriously entertained twice in my entire life.

    The first time was after the birth of my fist son and the second (still on-going) time began somewhere in mid-December 2009.

    As a general rule, I tend to have a very strong and clear sense of who I am, of what my values/principles are and of how I live those values principles in my life. Although I am definitely always growing and changing — and, in fact, am usually doing so very intentionally — I pretty much always have a very strong and reliable sense of identity continuity. I guess a good metaphor might be like being on a journey where one moves from point A to point B to point C in a fairly uniform and even kind of way. I mean, there might be plateaus or swamps where one gets stuck for awhile or obstacles one has to work one’s way around, but, for the most part, the way and what needs to be done to make one’s way is clear and where one is going follows very clearly from where one has been.

    The first time I held and nursed my oldest son, I was confronted very suddenly with the sense that the usual pattern of my life, my progress, and my sense of self (my identity and my confidence and the general psychic orientation of my energy) had just been totally disrupted in a huge and, at the time unprecedented and incomprehensible, way, for which — although I had most certainly chosen and planned and prepared for motherhood as well and as much as I believe possible — I was totally unprepared.

    I looked at that baby and I thought: “OMG, who am I?” Actually, it was more like an internal, silent outburst. Certainly not a bad one, not as if I didn’t want to be a mom, but more a shocked and uncertain sense that I had gotten myself into a situation — arrived in a territory –that was totally unchartered for me and in which it was very unclear if and/or how the seemingly utterly insufficient planning and preparation I had been able to do to prepare was going to even be of any use, let alone be of adequate use.

    …and there was a definite feeling of “What have I gotten myself into here?” and also a sense of the enormity of the task and of the responsibility I had undertaken….without there having been any way, until that very moment, of my truly understanding how enormous and how important it was going to be.

    Luckily, when it came to motherhood, nature helped me out quite a bit with hormones, so I really didn’t have much time to sit around worrying and wondering about what was going with me identity-wise. I just got to work loving and taking care of my kid. Thank God for prolactin!

    But, I have never forgotten that very unusual, for me, and super-disconcerting sense of sudden, earthquake-like rupture in my identity…and looking back on it later, I knew that what that was about was the fact that actually becoming a mother, actually having that baby in my arms and realizing that here was a human life that I had chosen to bring into this world and that was now, to some extent, my responsibility, had resulted in an immediate and total re-orientation of mySelf and activated hitherto unacknowledged and unexercised aspects of who I am and/or had the capacity to become.

    ….because, prior to having kids, the central point around which I organized my life and my decisions was “me”: my values, my principles, my goals, my needs, my beliefs, and what was best for and right for me in the light of all that. And I don’t mean for it to sound crassly selfish because it wasn’t…..I definitely cared about and took others into account….but when E was born, suddenly there existed an “Other” who I somehow knew for absolute certain had to come before “me” in my thinking, my feeling and my living.

    So, fast-forward 24 1/2 years, and here I am doing this recovery work and trying to establish and build this relationship with a HP…and things are going along nicely (in my estimation), and then, last April I have that sudden, prolonged “very vital conscious contact” experience. And it’s pretty overwelming and a little scary, but good. And I do sense that things are somehow changing for me in a big way, but I’m not sure exactly how or exactly what that means.

    Then comes the fall of 2009 and that whole situation with my partner — which most certainly cannot seem to anyone but me to be a very big, momentous, history-making deal. But internally — psychically and energetically — what began to manifest for me in all of that was somehow another, even bigger, reorientation of my identity.

    This time in relation to HP.

    And what makes it bigger seems to be the deep, deep experiential awareness that this new orientation means that I am not — really, truly in any sense of those terms — the director or the decider….whereas with my becoming a mother, although the goal of my direction and the basis of my decisions changed, my “role” as “boss of me” did not.

    …and again it feels to me like totally unchartered territory. Actually, how it kind feels is like I am walking on water and I don’t entirely know how that’s happening or feel entirely safe and sound and supported even though, at the same time, I know I have to be or I could not be doing it at all.

    And I feel unsure. Is that unsure part Ego? An 12 Step National Meetings member to whom I was talking awhile back about all of this seems to believe that I can (that I should?) just be sure. And intellectually, I know that that’s true, at least insofar as “being sure” = “trusting God.” But, really, this all feels very, very new and tentative to me, and I don’t think that I can pretend to be sure or act like I’m sure when I’m not totally sure…even though I am pretty certain that the “unsureness” comes from Ego and from the newness of the new identity/orientation, not because of any “wrongness” of it. And I am sure that that will go away as I just keep allowing myself to be lead forward (wherever that is — another source of my “unsureness” because I still somehow, on some level, think I should get to know where I’m going) and when I get enough practice/experience with being in and following this new orientation.

    …and I want a word for it, too…I like to have words for my identity(ies) or for various facets of my Identity…like “mother” or “queer femme” or “scholar” or even “b*tch”…..So, what’s the word for someone whose identity is oriented around God, but who’s not stereotypically “religious”???????????

    …or maybe here’s an even bigger question/issue/area of uncertainty: do I even get to have an identity if I am oriented around HP? Is identity and sense-of-self in and of itself tied to Ego? Or, maybe, is it more probably another one of those paradoxes insofar as “losing” oneself in HP is actually the most true (only true?) and highest expression of self…??????

    ….and if so, then what-the-h*ll does that mean???????????????????

    Yikes….that’s enough….I’m going farther than I had planned here!

    So, whatcha got to say, folks????????????


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