“Our identities are shaped by the costumes we wear”
BOOM! First sentence of the chapter in The Minimalists book ‘Everything That Remains’ and they have already captured the trappings of the modern western culture of BE. DO. HAVE.
I don’t know about your experiences in life, but I personally have spent an obscene amount of my emotional currency worrying about my ‘costume’. I worried about my fashion, although as a woman with a super long torso, ample hips and flipper sized feet I don’t really think I ever managed to master that one. I worried about what car I drove, although I’m still not an owner of that Ford Capri I used to drool over – be warned if anyone tells my husband I used to want a Ford I will deny, deny, deny! I worried about my status and title in career, although despite that I got a degree and rock at what I do, I still struggle with feeling ‘enough’. Essentially, my final concern has historically been with what others perceptions of what should only have mattered to me.
Each time we set the standard of what we will be, what we will do, and what we will have to be truly content and happy, the bar is raised by our own subconscious Oliver that just wants more please sir. We end up spending our entire lives reaching and striving for that ‘my life is complete’ point that keeps shifting higher and higher, until before we know it we are balancing precariously on a dozen or so stacked chairs trying to grab for that bar.
I think that the treasure I took from reflecting on the quote, is that we need to apply the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ and ‘its whats on the inside that counts’, to all aspects of our lives. Identify what costumes we are wearing in life that might not really be true to what is on our inside. I’m going to continue working on my inner self (deep and meaningful huh), and I am going to try to let go of the statuses that shackles me to the ever escalating bar.