I in irony

One of my least favorite sports clichés, and there are many, is "there is no I in team."  As I think about it, there is also no U in team.  So if there is no I and there is no U, maybe the whole team thing is an illusion.

So that got me thinking about identity.  Not only is there an I in identity, there is no U. now of course identity is only about the self, but maybe that's an illusion also.  I was thinking about that on a recent meditation retreat when I was supposed to be thinking about other things, but that's the way minds work, they never do what you want them to do, the little rascals.

But maybe all our identities really are an illusion.  Or, at the very least, not completely true.  We tell ourselves who we are : the good girl, the workaholic, the martyr, the caregiver, or even the blogger.  One woman told me when we first met socially that she is and anxious person.  Well, she might have more anxiety and she wants, and it might be so uncomfortable that it is sometimes disabling, but is she and anxious person?  No more so than I am a quadriplegic or a blogger or even a nice guy.  All of the labels we give ourselves still don't add up to who we are.  And all of those labels are connected only to the way we see experience ourselves intermittently.  And then to make matters more complicated, those minds of ours create stories about why we are the people we think we are: neglectful parents, childhood trauma, illness of a loved one, recent breakup, spiritual calling or just plain unlucky.  So we have our identity, our explanations and we are ready for life.  Maybe. 

What if what we tell ourselves is only a shadow of the truth.  Then maybe identity is a kind of illusion.

So then I was playing around with the word love. And low and behold there is neither I nor U, just love.  But that gets way too touchy-feely for a serious Inquirer blog!

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines
Help us learn more about Philly.com commenters. Click here to take this quick survey.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments
Continue Reading