I tried a new hair salon Saturday and the chatty stylist, within the first five minutes of meeting me, told me she used her COVID stimulus money last year to get a divorce. “I made that bastard pay for everything he’s done to me,” she said with a look of vengeful glee.
Turns out, as part of the spousal support order, her ex will be paying her house payment “for the rest of his miserable life,” she added proudly.
If you’re familiar with my 4 stages of Empathic Awakening, guess which stage she falls in: Identifier, Survivor, Observer or Alchemist?
If you’re not familiar, you can sign up below to get your free blueprint to an empowered, purpose-driven life, and learn more about the stages.
A tell-tale sign of an Identifier is the desire to make someone pay for what they did to you. The unwillingness to admit your own role in your life’s circumstances, the satisfaction of the ego’s compulsion to exact revenge and the inability to see beyond your spite and anger are all indicative of a victim mentality, which is a classic Identifier trait.
Because I recognized this as merely a stage she’s going through in her soul’s journey, I sent her vibes of peace and love and envisioned her being truly, deeply happy and free from the control of her ego.
THE EGO’S GRIP ON IDENTIFIERS
The ego derives pleasure from “making someone pay”. Victims feel that an injustice has been done to them so when someone is made to pay for that wrong, they feel as if balance has been restored to the scales of justice.
But I look at my chatty stylist and I don’t see a person who is deeply happy and at peace now.
I also don’t see a wronged person made right, nor do I see an unspiritual person full of anger and spite.
I see a beautiful soul cloaked in the fog of an identity based in ego and egoic pleasures.
Because she’s lost in the grip of ego, she felt that justice was served in the moment, but I guarantee that no true justice was served. In fact, another injustice was committed, as she continues to perpetuate her victim identity. To keep that identity alive, she’ll hold on to the anger, blame and self-righteous indignation every month as she receives his payment, which ironically and unbeknownst to her, will be for the rest of HER miserable life if she doesn’t consciously take steps to evolve out of this stage.
The ego likes to grip us in a cycle of never-ending victimhood and in order to do that, it makes us seek vindication, which only serves to suck us back into the cycle.
But we’re not victims, nor do we need to be vindicated.
BREAKING FREE OF YOUR EGO’S GRIP
The first step out of stage 1, the Identifier, is to acknowledge that we’ve been stuck in this mode and that we want to rise out of it. Many Identifiers neither want to acknowledge the role they’ve played in their own unhappiness nor do they want to move on. They’re “happy” where they are, thank you very much.
And that’s okay. We each grow at our own pace.
Our concern is not where someone else is but where we are, and what we’re doing to move toward our soul’s calling.
My chatty stylist’s soul is continually calling her toward peace, love and light. Her ego continually calls her toward spite, revenge and indignation. The satisfaction she gains from moments of seeing her perceived tormentor suffer are fleeting and addictive, like a drug addict who gets pleasure from a hit only to crash later and need another hit to get that high again.
Identifiers feel as if they have no control in their lives so they serve as judge, jury and executioner in their minds to make them feel as if they have some sense of control. It’s a natural coping mechanism and yet another futile attempt to balance the scales of justice.
When I was an Identifier, I wanted so desperately for my cheating exes to pay for what they did to me. I wanted them to understand how much they hurt me and I felt absolutely justified, right and deserving in my desire for this. I knew deep down that I was a good person and didn’t deserve the way they treated me. If someone were to read this very email to me and tell me that I was “in a stage,” I would’ve argued defiantly with them and defended my right to feel the way I felt.
And I would’ve been right.
They broke their promise to me. They lied and cheated. In an Identifier world, this is all true.
And yet, there was something deeper inside me that didn’t want to be that way. While I knew I was right from one perspective, my soul was calling me to be more than who I was being and expand my awareness, even though the rest of the Identifier world would have agreed with me.
Now that I’ve risen through the stages and into the Alchemist stage, I can clearly see the bigger picture in all this, and I recognize we were all “in a stage” and it’s easy for me to love and appreciate everything we went through together as evolving souls. The anger, blame and confusion has dissolved to gratitude, love and clarity. And I look back at my exes, my fellow travelers on this soul journey, and thank them for walking with me for a time and helping me have the experiences I needed to have and learn the lessons I needed to learn for my continuing travels.
THE CALLING OF THE SOUL
There is no right or wrong way to be. Our thoughts, emotions and actions are true to the stage we’re in. There’s an old saying, “Everyone is right from their perspective,” so it’s not about being right.
It’s when we no longer feel GOOD about how we’re thinking, feeling or behaving that we can take an honest look at where we are and decide to grow.
No matter where you are along your empathic awakening journey, whether that’s wanting someone to pay for what they did to you, or genuinely appreciating them for the lessons they taught you, or wavering somewhere in the middle, your soul is calling you toward it, toward the love and light of who you truly are, nudging you to be more than you’re currently being, to rise above and beyond your current stage, to grow and evolve.
We are beings of light.
When we can live more from a soul-driven identity than an ego-driven identity, we can begin to rise out of the egoic fog of density, darkness and pain and expand our awareness to a greater calling and higher purpose.
But it starts with a decision to want to rise above where we are.
As we acknowledge and accept where we are, keep our vision aimed high, and continually move in the direction of our vision, we find true joy, peace and appreciation for all the people and experiences we meet along the way, including our exes.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll write more about each stage, giving you real-life examples of a person in each stage so that you can better understand not only where you are but also gain a better understanding of others and where they may be in their journeys.
If you haven’t downloaded the Empathic Awakening Roadmap where I explain the four stages of Empathic Awakening, let me know where to send it by filling in your info below.
To read an example of stage 2, the Survivor, see my next post.