How Important is your Identity?

August 14, 2014,
Claire Montanaro

A few days ago a parcel I was expecting was signed for by someone who forged my signature and took temporary possession of it. Because it was late and I was checking the tracking details with Royal Mail, I discovered almost immediately that this had happened, and I was surprised to find that I was more concerned about the fraudulent use of my name than by the loss of the package: my identity had been taken and used without my knowledge, and it felt like a personal affront. The importance of IdentityWhat happened to me was minor compared to the experience of the many people who have their identity stolen and misused criminally, often at great and distressing cost, but it made me ponder on the meaning and significance of identity. Having an identity, attributes which distinguish us from someone else and which make us unique, is helpful in life and gives us a sense of self: it is an anchor and can be reassuring. How would you feel, how would you manage, without a name? For it is our name that gives us the strongest sense of human identity, not a scar or an address or a tax number. The question, perhaps, is how far you depend upon your name for your sense of who you are, and how far your self-confidence comes from a deeper place within. You see, having a sense of identity can become a prop, a label that is a disguise for the truth of your being, and one that fools others as well as yourself. When someone says your name, for example, immediately you are categorised as “Jane Harwood, mother with 2 children working in accounts, blonde and cheerful”: you have been defined and labelled, and it may be that is how you see yourself, too. Having an identity is useful, perhaps essential in our world, but when the identity becomes a dependency, we need to be careful. My reaction to the misuse of my signature by a stranger has reminded me that I have or could have an attachment and possessiveness about my name, and that my name is not who I am. It is convenient, but relatively unimportant compared to my identity as a soul. The criminal misuse of identity is another matter, of course. And if you are wondering, my missing package was returned, and a careless postman cautioned.   [image via Wikimedia Commons ]   [byline]]]>

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I am a spiritual teacher, channel and writer with a special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition, who loves nature and wildlife.  My aim is to help your human and soul journey through spiritual wisdom, spiritual connection and the raising of consciousness.

2 comments on “How Important is your Identity?”

  1. Also of issue in this instance, Claire, is that of informed consent. Contrary to your experience, whilst in U.S. naval boot camp on Service Week, I was assigned to the security detail on base. My immediate supervisor gave me permission to sign his name to the 'walking chits' (permission to be away from a place of work) I needed in order to perform my duties for him.

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