The Amanda Quick Show

Loss, Growth, and the Art of Becoming: A New Perspective on Identity

August 26, 2023 Amanda Quick Season 1 Episode 5
The Amanda Quick Show
Loss, Growth, and the Art of Becoming: A New Perspective on Identity
The Amanda Quick Show
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Experiencing loss can feel like being detached from a part of our selves that we held dear. I know this all too well, having lost my identity as part of a family unit through divorce; a loss that hit harder than the dissolution of my own marriage. This episode shines a light on the profound impact of loss on our identities, and how we can use such experiences as catalysts for change and growth. We also touch on the importance of open conversations about the loss of a parent, a much-needed step for children to process their emotions and comprehend their new reality.

Reconfiguring our identities can be a daunting task, but remember, identity is a construct that can be molded and remolded. This episode invites you to reconsider the concept of identity, to embrace change and harness the limitless potential that it brings. We discuss how embracing different possibilities can lead to a deeper connection with ourselves and the opportunities around us. We also explore the limitations that frustrations can place on us, highlighting the need for being present in mind, body, and spirit to fully explore these possibilities.

Who are we if not a sum of our past, our dreams, and our growth? In this episode, we discuss the importance of nurturing our dreams, and how releasing them with trust and unconditional love can transform our lives. Through my personal journey, I share how trauma has been my greatest challenge, yet my biggest gift, and how it has shaped me. We also delve into the importance of releasing judgement of past experiences to truly embrace growth, a celebration of shedding old identities, and welcoming the new. This episode is your invitation to commemorate your rebirth, to acknowledge the losses, and to warmly welcome the exciting possibilities that change brings.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome back to the Amanda Quick Show. I'm your host, amanda Quick, and today the conversation that I want to have with you all is about the concept of loss. The other day I was making dinner with the kiddos and it just came into my mind that this was a conversation that we needed to have, especially when it comes to loss of our identity, loss of who we think we are, and sometimes that is more painful than the loss of another person, because when the other person either leaves our lives in one form or another, there's an identity within ourselves that's impacted, and this has shown up in my own life in multiple ways and it's shown up in my children's lives in multiple ways. And I remember going through everything that I went through back in 2016 through 2020, and it wasn't the loss of the marriage that was the most painful. It was the loss of my identity as a member of the family unit. That was the painful part. That was the part that I couldn't seem to get over. Yes, it sucked that my husband wasn't who I thought he was, and there was definitely pain and sadness and betrayal, but the real loss was attached to my identity and who I was, because I believed myself to be a certain type of person. I believed myself to be smart and to know things and to be in a committed relationship and to be in a family unit where the family came first. And when I realized that I could not hold on to that identity and successfully get my kids to safety, it was me who I was losing. It was the part of me that decided that's who I was that had to die, and that was the more painful part of the entire experience was the loss of myself and realizing that not only was I losing who I thought I was, but that person that I thought I was wasn't even me to begin with, and so it's like a double loss, and we go through these rebirth cycles throughout our lives. When we have this stronghold on who we think we are based on somebody else's ideas usually. You know my ex-husband. He really liked that I wanted to stay home with the kids full time. He really liked that I was so invested in them, and yet he also made me feel wrong for it because I didn't bring in income and I didn't participate in society, and so he played on my own fears while also making sure that I stayed exactly where he wanted me to stay and I built my identity around that person. I built my identity around the person that put family first, that did everything for my family, and once that all blew up in my face, the loss to me was myself, who I believed I was, and the loss to my children was who they believed they were. Because the hardest part for them getting over this, because they went through a loss of a parent after the divorce was finalized and we stopped hearing from him. That was a loss to them. That was a loss of a parent, a loss of a person in their lives and, for all intents and purposes, he was gone forever. Now, once they understood that he wasn't coming back around, they had a lot to process and, yes, they were sad and they were confused, but the biggest thing that stuck around and still sticks around today is the loss of their identity as a small human that exists inside a family unit, the identity of the nuclear family, in a sense. My middle son especially has a very hard time when, especially before I got remarried when thinking about talking to his friends at school and them asking about his dad and not wanting to share anything but also wanting it to seem like we're normal because most kids have a mother and a father and siblings, and they may or may not live together. That's more normal today, but they usually aren't completely gone. He asked me to in fact tell people that he had never met his father. Now, obviously that didn't make any sense because he had a younger brother and so he certainly would have at least met him. But for him the identity loss of being normal and being in a nuclear family was too painful. That was harder than actually just saying that he's not in our lives, because that would make him different and weird and his belief of who he was was not that. And that identity loss, that change in who he believed he was, is still something we're working on. It's still something that we're getting through, and in some ways having a new stepdad helps that, because he's able to say this is at least my stepdad and nobody's asking where his biological father is. But he still has to deal with that, knowing that he's not the identity that he originally thought. And that type of loss, that type of change, is not something that we're taught how to deal with. We're not taught as children to deal with this rebirth of self, this change in who we are this change in our values, our belief systems? We're not and it's not modeled for us anywhere. Most humans out there are out there sticking their feet in the ground, stakes in the sand. This is my beliefs, this is who I know I am to be, and it's never changing because it's truth for them. And this belief, that truth is never changing, holds us to that, holds us to being not open to receive new information in the ways that we might otherwise be. And so what I try to do, as a parent, as a mom, as somebody who's gone through many versions of this loss, is to talk about it openly. And when we talk about the loss of their father, my youngest, probably six months or so after we hadn't heard from him, was very, very upset, stormed into my room why won't you let me call him, it's all my fault. And I said to him you know, this is not about me, this isn't about you and this isn't about me. This is about him and his choices and who he chose to be. Knowing what the consequences for that choice was. He chose not to get the help he needed. He chose not to do the things the court asked him, knowing the consequence was he was not going to be able to see you guys. And so it's really important that we put blame where blame is due and that we recognize that the loss is two-sided. The loss is not just the loss of the person, but the loss of who we thought we were. And when we add on the layer of dealing with loss because somebody has passed over, passed away, it amplifies that, because the identity is never to be found again. It's ended in this lifetime. And I think that's part of why grief is so challenging. You know, grief means that there's no way through. That's this belief that we're stuck and we're at the bottom of the barrel, and the grief is overwhelming because we know there's no reconciliation, there's no coming back. And I think that people have a very hard time really processing that when we've not been taught how to deal with our own rebirth processes. And, yeah, we get very attached to humans and we love them and adore them and have beautiful relationships with them. But I think we also struggle to realize that every single human has their own path and choices. Every single human gets to choose their life and their choices, the traumas and how they recover from them. They get to choose how they want to proceed through their lives. They get to choose whether or not they receive medical treatment. They get to choose whether or not they buy into any version of what is possible when it comes to healing and growth and expansion. None of the choices are wrong. No one person is making a choice that's wrong if they're making the choice with their inner knowing and their sovereignty. And, from my lensing, the very most important thing that we can do is hold space for those choices to be made in full sovereignty, even if that means a loss of the person, a change in their identity or the change in my own. You know, my mother is going through a medical crisis right now. She's been undergoing chemotherapy and she's really being faced with her own mortality right now, and it's made me think about this concept of loss quite a bit, because there is some chance out there that she isn't going to make it through and she's doing the very best she can to stay positive and to seek out every resource that she has available to understand what's happening in her body, in her energy bodies, in her system. But ultimately, there's some level that I certainly don't have control over and her body, at some point, may choose to leave, and so, as I've been walking alongside her and talking to her about the choices we make and the experiences that we have, this concept of loss of identity is just repeated over and over again. You know, she spent the majority of her life working, taking care of me and my sister, of having some joy in her life, the best that she could. But her whole kind of purpose for her first 70 years was to make an income to support herself and her children and to follow through with her spiritual practices and her connections. And you know she built lots of beautiful relationships. She's, you know, married my stepdad she's. She's also been married three times and she's had, she's had a lot of really positive things in her life. And she's been coming up to this, this point in her life where things are different. She retired just before covid started and hasn't really known what's next yet. And now here, a couple years later, she's faced with with this, this illness and disease in her body, and so it's really putting into question everything that she knew to be true about who she is and her experience and her choices. It's putting into question her identity. It's putting into question who she is and the healing that she's done so far and what else? What else can she do if she's choosing to stay? And we've had many, many, many conversations about it and it's interesting looking at those conversations through the lens of this identity loss, because she's talking to me. Her daughter and both of us have gone through massive, massive transformations with our own identities throughout our lives. We've had very similar experiences in in different ways with the father of our children and with her that was my father and then with me it was obviously the father of mine, and we both faced different type of gaslighting and abusive situations. We both faced being a single parent, and she did so for longer than I did but we both faced the same things and we both made the choices we made to protect ourselves and our children. And so we share a lot of that understanding and we share that type of experience which makes it really easy for us to connect and understand the identities that we've created since then. But I think a lot of times we don't know what we don't know and we can't see what we don't want to see and what doesn't fit within our understanding of ourselves. Because where my mom and I do differ is, as I talked about in my last podcast. I'm very much a mental person. In my head, everything I do is a logical thought process, a puzzle to be solved, and for her she's very emotional. Everything for her ties back to a feeling and an experience, and so when I look at her identity, she's built her identity around what she's done to take care of herself, what she's done to take care of her children, what she's done to create a life which was very mental, physical and her spiritual practices are intact. But her emotional connections have been a challenge. They've been overwhelming and she's worked through it. She's done a lot but it's not as connected, in a sense, as it could be and we had a conversation just last week about this because she's feeling the impacts of the chemo more now and she's feeling unsure about what's coming next. And I really encouraged her, as an emotional, to sit in those feelings and to ask herself what they would like to be expressed. How do they want to come out? Do they want to be art? Do they want to be noises or crying or screaming? Do they want to be expressed through dance or music? Do they want to be spoken? Asking herself how they want to be expressed, how this emotion desires to come through her, because, if we allow ourselves to be in it and be free of expectation, be free of a decision of who we are in these types of moments, because that's where our identities get stuck how I handle situations is a decision that I've made based on a belief about who I am and how she handles certain situations would be the same, and so what I'm encouraging both her and all of you out there to do when you're going through times where your identity is in question, whether that's because of a loss of a person, a loss of a job, a loss of a relationship, anything like that I'm encouraging you to really sit with what is asking to be expressed. How is this experience asking to be utilized, to be expressed, to be moved through you in some fashion? Whether that's an action, a physical action that needs to be taken, whether that's an emotion that needs to be experienced and shared, whether that's a mental process, a puzzle piece that needs to be put in place, perhaps there's a bigger message for humanity that needs to be shared. It could be any number of things, because there's any number of experiences and there's any number of types of people out there with different connections and different messages and different ways that they operate in the world. And when we sit with it that way and we let go of the identity of how we always deal with these things and how we always pick the pieces back up of our lives and how we always respond, we also get to release the judgment of ourselves. We get to release the judgment of ourselves in doing it wrong, doing it wrong or making the wrong choice, or doing it wrong and potentially hurting somebody else, or doing it wrong and making things worse, or doing it wrong and being wrong because we did it wrong. Whatever the story there is about why we can't just be in this moment, why we can't just sit in the energy of this experience, because if the judgment is dropped, if we put it down and we just set it aside, and we set aside this belief about our personal identity and we set aside the belief of the person or the relationship or the job or the experience and that identity and we just allow ourselves to be, to be who we are, to be connected to, who we are to be present in today. Today and now, everything brings a different perspective. Everything shifts. It's no longer about what could have been or what should have been or what might be. It's just about what is. It's about what is today, what we feel today, what we know today, and that's it. And today you are whoever you are. You have a set of identities, a set of relationships and a set of experiences, and tomorrow everything may change. But if we allow ourselves to be open to the possibility that this identity isn't all that you are, in fact, it's a construct, it's not just, it's not just one truth. It's the decision that you made to create this persona, this person that has this belief in the set of structures. And there's no right or wrong to this persona, but it is just a persona. And if we open ourselves to the possibility that we could connect to something else, we can connect to more of ourselves. We can connect to other possibilities of relationships, other possibilities of jobs or financial situations or other possibilities for our lives. We might actually be opening a door, an invitation to those other things. And maybe it's well. That's not for me. Other people can do that, but not for me. And my question is why not? Why not you? Why can't you be somebody who heals their cancer? Why can't you be somebody who changes their whole life in an instant. Why can't you be someone who decides they want to travel the world? Why can't you be someone who shares their story and impacts millions of lives? Why can't you be someone who is present with their children and enjoys their children and that becomes the most enjoyable beautiful thing? Anything is possible. Anything is possible if we allow it to be, and if we sit in the loss and the guilt and the shame and the judgment, then those possibilities shrink. The opportunities aren't there in the way that they used to be. I know for myself. This is a reminder that I continually have to have with myself because I get frustrated, just as anybody else. I want what I want and I want it now. I don't like to wait. I have huge visions for what I want to bring to the world. I have huge visions for my nonprofit and it's beyond frustrating how long it takes even the IRS to get back to you about non-taxable status. It's hugely frustrating of how seemingly black boxed the public speaking world is and how finding leads and clients seems challenging. All of that's hugely frustrating. But if I sit in that energy and I sit in well, I can't because of my identity and it's too painful to think about losing myself again. It's too painful to think I can't recreate myself. I've already done so. I've already learned the things. Well, no, no, there's always more and there's always more rebirth and always more changing and growth to have. And as I'm sitting here sharing this with you, it's really time, perfect. It's timely because I know more is coming. I know more is coming for every one of us and knowing that seeing possibilities in the future does make it more challenging to sit and be patient. But I think really, the reminder for all of us is the presence. And the presence for you and the presence in your mind, in your spirit, in your emotions and in your body is all you have. That identity, that sense of self today is all you have. And if we release the hold that we have on it and we release the I can't change it because it's scary and if we release the, this is the only way that I know how to be me, and this is the only way that I know how to be me, because of the traumas I've endured or the experiences I've had, or the things people have taught me, or all of the reasons. But if we release all of that and we sit in ourselves today and we sit in this, this possible possibility space, and we let ourselves dream. We let ourselves dream about what the future might hold, what might be exciting, what might we let ourselves want. And we think of those dreams, almost like we think of our children, and we nurture them and we play with them and we allow them to grow and to become something that we might not even have known. They are just like our children. You know, when you birth a child, you love them unconditionally and you want the best for them and you feed them and you take care of them and you clothe them and you do all of the things to set the structure and teach them the important things to you in the world, but you don't decide who they are, you don't decide who they grow up to be, you don't decide who they love or where they live or anything. And it's the same is true for our dreams, the same is true for our creations that we put out into the world, and really they have a life of their own. And so, as we're nurturing them, as we're holding possibilities and dreaming for them with them, we also have to release them. We have to allow the loss of them to be something more, to not be exactly what we thought they were. We have to release them out into the wild and trust that, however they choose to unfold, however we choose to continue to co-create with them, will be perfect for us. And when those dreams get set out into the wild, that energy is there and growing and transforming, even if we don't see evidence of it. Every step in action you take on some level is towards those dreams. Every step in action you take to release them allows them to transform even more. And I truly believe that allowing the loss, allowing the pain, allowing it to be experienced and expressed, allowing ourselves to release the judgment that we have, allowing ourselves to move past the understandings of who we thought we were, really brings the possibility for anything. I'm honestly excited to see what the world unfolds into. Some people may call me an optimist or delusional. That's okay. I believe that, ultimately, humans want beautiful things and that the only thing impeding all of that beauty is the amount of trauma that is stuck inside every single person's body, mind, emotions and spirit. I believe that the virus of trauma is the problem, and it's such a big part of my mission to help people reconnect to themselves and release the trauma they've stored, because if they were able to see themselves like I see them, they were able to see through the experiences that they believe shaped them into be this traumatized, scared person, they might see that their trauma is actually their greatest gift. The things that I went through, they were hell. I wouldn't wish them on anyone, and yet they're the biggest gift that could have been given to me, because they created me into the person I am today, and I wouldn't have that. Without those experiences, I wouldn't know what I know, I wouldn't believe what I believe and I wouldn't be the parent that I am not alone, the person that I am. And it's through the loss, the loss of self, the loss of people, the loss of identity, the loss of jobs, the loss of situations all of it is what's created me to be me, and so, just as I work with my children to understand their loss, I invite all of you to do the same, to reach down deep within yourself and to take a look at the losses that you've had in your lives the losses of people, situations, relationships and, truly, the loss of self, the times that you've gone through a death and rebirth of self, of ego, of identity, of complete transformation. Take a look at all of those times, feel into those times, recognize where you're still holding judgment of those times and the choices that had to be made and the changes in who you were and the changes in your situations and your experience, and all of the judgment that still exists in your periphery. Now I invite you all to let it go, to set it down, to release it and to be so flip and grateful that you have made it through onto the other side and that you have the knowledge and experience that you do today and that you are the person that you are today. To be able to make that reflection, invite all of you to celebrate your rebirth, to celebrate the losses and the identities that no longer served you, to celebrate the expansion in the growth and the evolution of who you are and knowing that there's more to come and that we don't have to sit in fear and judgment and worry of all of the unknown, because the unknown is where we get to play. The unknown is where we get to open up the door to the other side, the door way to possibility. The unknown is where the next version of you is the person you don't yet know the person that's accomplished those dreams that you started out with and those put, the person that not only accomplished them but exceeded them. That person lives in this unknown place. That person is created there and that person is ready to be found if you can allow yourself to let go and to release the identities and the judgments that you hold on to yourselves today. I hope all of this was helpful. I hope it gives you some thought and I hope it helps you release some of your own judgments, some of the losses that you've experienced, and I hope it brings you healing and growth. Lots of love to you all. Thanks.

The Concept of Loss and Identity
Embracing Change and Possibilities
Releasing and Nurturing Dreams
Release Judgments and Embrace Growth