The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Attached to an identity

There are many ways to define one’s identity.

One way to look at it is to focus on the situation and to develop it from there.

In any given situation we are also in a role. The role comes from being part of a community and acting in it. In a family the role is always described by the relationship, may it be parent, child, sibling, cousin, or others. In an organization, roles will also be described by a relationship to other members of the organization, but also through a given authority as well as a set of tasks linked to the role.

The way one executes this role builds on one’s perspective of how this role is best implemented. However, since a role exists within a relationship it comes with expectations others have towards that role. It leads to tension between both sets of assumptions.

The other side of a situation is how people feel in it, that is what they look for and need from it. Needs are a powerful contributor to how people become able to deliver their best in any given situation. That is also in any given role. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a good guide to understanding needs in a given situation. The distinction between deficiency needs and growth needs helps for example to assess how one is motivated. The link with a specific situation and role allows one to be more specific about the needs involved. They will be different for everyone, resulting in a unique set of needs an individual will seek to satisfy in his role or the given situation.

Needs are also expectations that result from habits and how needs can be satisfied. Not all of these expectations will be fulfilled, resulting in another set of tensions.

These tensions can be summed up with how people want to do things and how people expect things to happen. They both are part of the relationship. However, they also mean that the individual will search for ways to have as much as possible of both.

The stronger the tensions, the more probable it is, that there is a spot where people are attached to a specific way to see themselves. Something they have to do or something they have to have to be aligned with who they see themselves to be. The tension indicates that something is threatened.

Everyone has a different approach. It can be the ability to be seen as someone useful, who does good work, who is reliable, who available to help, or something else. It may also be about seeing themselves exist in the relationship by feeling welcome, being seen, being cared for, having the liberty to act as they want, or receiving something else that feeds their needs.

Their absence leads to defense or protective mechanisms. Thus, displaying what someone is attached to. The absence of attachments allows for a third option, one that is independent of wanting or doing. It is an identity that allows for being. It shows through the ability to be in the situation or role and to act as the situation requires.

Being then is also the state of absence of expectations and the presence of autonomy.

However, this doesn’t mean, that the individual doesn’t have expectations or makes himself independent from any want. That would correspond to a denial of what allows to reach autonomy or the flexibility to know when an expectation is a part of responding to the situation and when it isn’t.

It is aligning doing and wanting to the given situation. Which may be simply being present without needing to add anything to it.

It happens without the attachment of having to have or having to do through which people find it easy to recognize themselves.


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