Identity work.

Identity work.

I’m looking for a therapist. Which is proving to be a difficult task. Living in a small city, my options are limited. What’s more, it seems like everyone does everything. Far from being meaningful specifics, the mental health professionals in my area are walking generalities. Which doesn’t inspire much confidence in me. Nor does it make the already taxing work of finding someone who’s the right fit any easier. 

In an attempt to better care for my psychosomatic wellbeing until I find a therapist, I have returned to some supportive rituals and practices that fell by the wayside. This includes daily meditation and drawing a tarot card to set a theme for my week. This week, I had two cards jump out of the deck. Together they asked a question about identity and what will make me feel less insecure and more whole.

I don’t mind my insecurities. I’ve learned to work with them productively. It was my discomfort with being in front of the camera that brought me back to working with puppets after all. At the same time, I hadn’t considered the relationship between my insecurities and being able to access a feeling of wholeness. And if I’m being totally honest, like finding a therapist, this is the sort of identity work that I tend to put off.

As a creative, I don’t think I’m uncommon in this regard. On the one hand, creatives pour so much of their identity and angst into their work. On the other hand, we can completely neglect other facets of our identity. We privilege parts of ourselves over others and in doing so, limit our ability to do our best work. Which can be so frustrating. Many of us long to just be able to make our art without having to wrestle with what exists outside the edges of our work.

The thing is, while we are certainly creatives we are also bodies. Bodies that need sleep and food and touch. We are lovers and family members and friends. There are relationships that we must care for because they keep us and our communities well. We are spiritual beings and moral beings. There are rituals to be attended to and causes to be advocated for. While we are certainly creatives, we are also so much more than that.

When I think of wholeness, I don’t think of completeness or perfection. Instead, I imagine a way of being that holds everything in balance, although not necessarily equilibrium. Which means a constant shifting of priorities and focal points. It means a constant stretching to accommodate all parts of ourselves. And it means taking the time to do the work necessary to feel comfortable in all the facets of our identity.

So, what will help you feel more comfortable with who you are?

Bad ideas.

Bad ideas.

When to redo it.

When to redo it.