I am not my Body – Spiritual Identification
June 20, 2018
When you hear the phrase “Spiritual Identity,” what do you think of? Maybe you think of your religion and morals, your race and ethnicity, your family role or job title; the possibilities are endless. Although these factors may be a huge part of who you are, spiritual identity is far deeper than these factors.
To understand spiritual identity, you must first realize that there is also physical and intellectual identity. Physical identification is defining yourself off traits and characteristics of your body. An example of physical identification is, “I am a short, blonde-haired girl who has a beautiful smile.” Intellectual identification is defining yourself based on traits and characteristics of your personality and skill set. An example of intellectual identification would be, “I am a highly-motivated, quick-learning candidate for the position.”
Spiritual Identification is the process or act of recognizing one’s true self. It is the very core of who we are, and it is beyond our worldly self.
Sometimes we forget about our spiritual identity because our worldly physical and intellectual identities consume our thoughts and lives. We may feel like we lose ourselves in life. This is a result of not being connected to our spiritual identification.
I watched a TED Talk from Janine Sheppard called, “I am not my Physical Body.” Click here to watch the video. Janine was an athlete who aspired to be an Olympian. After a near-fatal accident, she went into a coma for 10 days. During those ten days, she experienced an out-of-body sensation where she realized that there is a separation between body and spirit. When Janine awoke, she heard the news that she was paralyzed; her dreams were crushed. She faced the ultimate identity crisis, for she was no longer the athletic machine that she once was. Janine talked about her personal journey of re-self-discovery as she grasped that her life had changed forever. Although she felt as if achieving her dreams was unreachable, she experienced some feelings that were deeper, richer, and more authentic, unlike anything she had ever felt before. She found her “Spiritual Identity”. Janine decided that her spirit was stronger than her body. She now walks on her own.
I found this video very inspiring and wanted to share it with you because it puts into perspective that you are beyond your physical self. You are much more than your body and your circumstances. You are a spiritual being with abilities that go far beyond our current lifetime. Whether you believe in the afterlife or not, I think we can all agree that we are connected to our body for a semi-short period of time. Whatever may happen before or after life as we know it, many believe that the soul lives beyond our corporeal lifetime. The body is just a vessel to help us through our physical life.
Although many of us have not had to experience the life-altering incident of being paralyzed, many of us still struggle
with physical identification. We often define ourselves based off our appearance. “I am fat, and therefore, unworthy of love.” Someone who would say this statement is out of touch with her/his spiritual identity because if they were in tune with themselves, they would know that they are so much more than their appearance. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but we tend to place a huge amount of self-worth on our bodies. Our bodies are an important aspect of who we are, but it is not ALL of who we are.
I encourage every one of you to take back your power of self-love. Discover or strengthen your spiritual identity and learn to love the depths of your soul. You will begin feeling more alive and vibrant than before, even without having the perfect body or the most extensive skill set.
If you want to take back your power, I would recommend giving yoga a try. I believe that yoga exercises your physical, intellectual, and spiritual self. Also, I find importance in feeding my body nutritious foods because I only have one body. I want to take care of my body and show appreciation and love towards it as it helps me through life.
I am not my physical body. I am so much more than that.
“When you let go of what you are, you become what you might be.” – Lao Tzu