We think we have no other choice but to act as we do. We create this illusion for ourselves by thinking we have an identity that is real, permanent, solid and cannot shift, and which has a fixed set of “needs.” But this is all internal politics! Whichever “identity” happens to be in power in this moment gets to determine which “needs” are “real” and must be met.
To wreck the Identification Game, do the experiment of “Naming the Identities.”
“Naming” is a powerful alchemical act. By giving a name to something that did not have a name before, you change the thing from invisible to visible, from subjective to objective, from unconscious to conscious, from
background to foreground. By clearly naming an identity, you bring people’s attention to the option of shifting to a different identity.
By changing the identity of the moment, you change the “needs” of the moment. For example: You can name your own identities in order to catch yourself in the act. You may identify characters such as The Whiner, The Judge, The Complainer, The Victim, The Glutton, The Perfectionist, The Head Chopper, The Sneak, The Miser, and so on.
Or, you can use naming to open doorways through which you can then step, and thus shift your identity in that moment. One way to open a doorway is to say something that the new character might say, such as: “Enter The Dragon”; “May I present The Goddess”; “Jamison at your service, Madam”; “Which way to Kilimanjaro?”; “Choose your weapon!”; “What have we here, Sherlock?”; “Has anyone seen my Ferrari keys?”
You can also open doorways through which to shift identity without saying anything.
For example, if you are going to bed with your partner at night and you feel the same old evening pattern arising, shift identity. For example, change the timing of your entry into the room. Take a different physical posture – crawl in, strut in, limp in, come in backwards, come in with your eyes closed. Use a different breathing pattern. Put on or take off different pieces of clothing. Change your mood. Beat up the teddy bear. Sing. If, while you are practicing shifting identities, your partner thinks that you have gone nuts, tell them that before now you were only pretending not to be nuts, and that you think they will get used to it.
The idea is to reveal yourself, rather than waiting around for your partner to reveal themselves first. It is crucial to remember that revealing yourself does not involve complaining, gossiping, blaming, or talking about other people. Revealing yourself is about getting present and letting yourself be authentically known. You may not be able to manage this the first time you try it, so plan to keep experimenting.