by Taylor White
Someone has taken over your life. Panic sets in. You lose your breath. You have fallen victim to criminal activity. Your bank account is bone dry. Credit cards are maxed out. You’re ashamed. Like you did something wrong. How will you explain it? How will you survive? Where do you turn? Your identity is gone.
According to the US Postal Inspection Service, and the FBI, identity theft is a major problem. Affecting millions of people every year. To the tune of billions of dollars. You will probably live through it but you will never be the same. Besides the monetary loses you can’t get back, trust is going to be an issue. You may be hindered to function normally. Your way of life may be altered forever.
After a slight decline, identity theft is on the rise, again. Major retailers like Target and Home Depot have suffered huge data breaches. Medical information thievery is now a mounting concern. All of this illegal brokering has spawned the multi-billion dollar Identity Protection Industry. And we are still vulnerable. But there is another kind of identity theft. It’s been around for a whole lot longer.
This one, is more than the loss of a bank account, or credit score. It’s the loss of affirmation, a sense of worthiness, and clarity. These things are rightfully ours. We’re born with them assigned to us. The loss might have been instant or it could have come later. But if they were stripped away, we have suffered. Our emotional displacement offers the scars to authenticate our losses.
by Ashe Emerson at deviantart
The heart aches. Many types of addictions can follow. The wounded spirit limps through human endeavors. The mind may be tormented. Every achievement leaves you wanting more. You can’t be satisfied. You keep chasing what you believe is missing. Things never feel right. When you think you’ve found what you’re looking for it falls apart. One relationship after the other. One job after another. You move. And move again. Ever aware, none of this makes sense.
It should be simple. Life should be abundant. Rewarding. Exciting. When you don’t know who you are, where you belong, and what your purpose is you can wander and wonder. You can do the next thing because it’s what you’re suppose to do. What everybody’s doing. But if you do the right thing, for the wrong reason, virtue can be absent. You can hobble away in disaster. Ready to give up. You tell yourself, that’s it. I’m not going to try anymore.
You can become callused. Withdrawn. Isolated. But that little notion inside won’t go away. You know there is more to life. You sense your destiny. You know you have a gift or talent and it longs for wings. It’s what keeps us all going. External forces can get inside us. Immobilize us. Fill our eyes with sadness. Our words with disgust. And cause our tempers to flare. We breathe. And breathe again. Because we know, we are in there, somewhere.
We are innocent. Precious. When we take our first breaths. We will die without water, food, and shelter. But we will live, without being alive, if we are not loved. The feeling of being wanted causes us to grow and flourish. If we feel like an interruption or inconvenience we will stagnate. We attend our birthdays each year but, that part of us we need in order to celebrate our lives, has been removed.
Thoughtless words of criticism creates inner turmoil. When pushed aside we feel we don’t matter. The absentee parent that willfully abandons, distorts perception. The neglectful parent that’s present, teaches self-doubt. We enter the playgrounds and school classrooms and encounter more perplexities. Adult relationships lack intimacy. We write stories about the events of our lives. These emotionally charged hyperbole’s are often more crippling than the actual infractions. We tell these stories, so many times, they form walls we don’t want. We unknowingly build excuses. Justifications. Do harm to ourselves. And those who try to love us.
Since we are slightly off-centered we lean to one side. Bumping into characters just like us. Unable to admit it, we struggle with the habits we’ve formed. We attract people based on what’s in us. What we have isn’t lining up with what we want. We can’t understand why we oppose ourselves. We might function well in the fury of activity. But when the commotion subsides we don’t want to be alone with ourselves. Someone took who you are away from you.
We can be so desperate for love and acceptance that we sale-out to get the best version we can. No matter how deficient. But clinging to whatever gets you through the night might mess-up your days. When we settle for less we meddle with our ability to connect with the best.
I have to be willing to re-write the story. It’s hard work. Giving up blame and taking responsibility can be scary. But if I want to recover my identity I will have to take the steps necessary to get there. To financially recover you have to contact the bank, credit card companies, and mortgage lender. You will send letters, make countless phone calls, and talk to credit reporting agencies. You will explain over and over again, this isn’t me. I didn’t do these things.
Maybe it was one or more of the many forms of abuse that ripped you off. Or perhaps it was molestation that left you devalued. Abandonment? Rejection? Ridicule? Does the poison you drank matter? That depends. If you want to stay, lost in translation, it’s all that matters. But if you want, your life, it matters little. Wrong thinking, dysfunction, and self destructive behavior isn’t you. You didn’t do these things. This is all about the person who isn’t there. These patterns are made possible because of your absence. The real you has been stolen.
by Ashlee Martin
It might take many letters and countless conversations with yourself, before you convince you, of your self-worth. The FICO scoring system, first used in 1989, was established to determine risk when extending credit. It’s designed to be sterile, cold, with emotion removed from the equation. It doesn’t feel you. To get your true identity it’s all about feeling. The only scoring system that works is the one on the inside.
The real you knows your true value. You forfeit instant gratification for the prize of you. You shed the people and systems that leave you pampered in your condition. You recognize the way you have lived down to the messages sent to you from empty places. Wholeness is never lonely. You’re comforted by discovering who you really are. You stand tall in light and love. Everything you ever wanted shows up, because the universe knows, you get it.
Other people affirm you because you affirm yourself. You cancel the affects of failure by understanding your worthiness. You see the difference between what is, and what is suppose to be, and you act. You surround yourself with people, who have bit into the prison bars, and gnawed their way free. You’re willing to let the darkness fade into the night. You’re not afraid of the present Light.
You’re open to the possibility of you. You see the love and grace that has been there all along. You employ resources. You invest in yourself. You don’t run from the clutches of despair you, run to the arms of bliss. You’re not about to neglect yourself any longer. No need to compare yourself to the path of others. Competition only exists if someone is willing to lose. Your mission is completion. At any stage. And any age.
by Anita Pelecanos
You have recovered your identity. And you like it! You announce yourself. Introduce the real you. You want everyone to meet you. You throw yourself a party to celebrate your arrival. You express what you’ve found in a painting, a song, a dance, or your writing. Not everyone claps. All are not willing to let you go free. There will always be those who want you to pay. You accept the momentary sadness. Embrace the real you. And, walk deeper into your truth. You see clearly. It feels good.
Welcome home! Nice to meet you.