-We can ‘disidentify’ from thoughts and feelings! This helps us take control of and change the subconscious parts of ourselves that aren’t good for us.
-Doing this for every thought and feeling that controls us gives us a kind of peace, enjoyment, and self-control that is unrivaled!
Sometimes our thoughts and emotions get the better of us, and we don’t know why we think and feel the way we do. Disidentifying from these thoughts and emotions is an amazing way to analyze and control them so that they work for us instead of the other way around. Read on to find out more! Enjoy the article!
The Basic Info!
It’s very common to have an image that we like to have for ourselves and put out to the world. Some of us identify with our favorite sports teams, some of us with the state we’re from, some of us with certain phrases that stuck with us from childhood, some of us with the things we own, some of us with our bodies, our minds, our friends, our family… The list of possibilities is infinite.
When we say that “so-and-so has a big ego” we’re pointing out that so-and-so identifies with their set of particular thoughts and feelings very closely, and if you say anything that sounds like you might be devaluing any of their favorites they’ll defend themselves as if you personally attacked them with the intent to hurt them (depending on how closely they’re identified with such thoughts/feelings).
Of course, if you’re identified with something you can always disidentify from it. It can be difficult to fully disidentify from some of the things you’ve identified with over the years (especially if you brought them on as a child) but we’ll go through why you should disidentify and how you can disidentify.
It’s important to note that disidentifying from thoughts and feelings, in particular, doesn’t mean you’re suddenly free from feeling these thoughts and thinking these feelings. The opposite is the case; disidentifying from a thought or a feeling will often increase its intensity for a short while, but instead of this thought/feeling happening in the background without your conscious knowledge of it, it can be fully observed and seen/felt for what it is. Once a subconscious process is seen for what it really is it no longer has any control over your thoughts or feelings, and every subconscious process disidentified from is one step closer to peace. It’s also important to note that you can only disidentify from thoughts and feelings – attachment to physical objects, people, and activities aren’t possible, it’s only possible to identify with and disidentify from the thoughts/feelings that are produced by such people/things/perspectives/activities.
How To Disidentify From Your Thoughts and Beliefs
From what I can tell there are three ways to approach this. The first and easiest way is to disidentify from something when it pops into your mind, even if you didn’t consciously search for it. This can be anything from a thought (“boy I hate it when so and so doesn’t do the dishes”) to a physical object that produces an emotional reaction (“that gun looks scary”) to an entire perspective that provokes a bothersome feeling (“what’s the point of life anyway?”). How you disidentify from the subject in question is you form a coherent sentence (“I hate it when such and such doesn’t vacuum the carpet”) and you think of a coherent sentence that is meant to separate your conscious self from whatever you’re disidentifying with (“I choose to disidentify from that thought”).
Sometimes an emotion or a thought may pop up that you have trouble putting into words; if/when this happens it’s important to stop what you’re doing and focus your energy into putting the feeling/thought into a sentence. Once you’re able to fully articulate the feeling/thought it will be much easier to see it for what it is, and therefore it will be much easier to disidentify from it. Again, the point is to feel the feeling and/or think thoughtfully, not turn away from it.
The second way is by consciously searching for things that bother you and disidentifying from them. This can be tricky since you cannot find what you’re looking for by thinking in a linear, direct path; if you wish to search for subconscious forces you’ll have to let your mind take you wherever it wants to go, and the thought/feeling you end up with may not be the one you set out to find, but it will probably still need to be disidentified from nonetheless. For example, you might set out to find the root of your anxiety but your mind may take you to the root of some unexpected sadness instead, and it’s best to go along with it and feel what your mind takes you to instead of resisting it with your conscious intention.
The third (and possibly best) way is by utilizing your dreams to clearly see the parts of you that you need to separate from. I had this happen just last night – I had finished eating pizza before I went to sleep, and in my dream, I was in the car with a very fat man who was eating everything he was given by other people in the car (mainly donuts). What I learned is that there’s a part of me that likes to eat without caring about the consequences, and since I didn’t disidentify from it had more or less controlled me up until the next morning when I woke up and properly disidentified from it.
Either path you take, any thought/perspective you want to disidentify from must be done consciously. After you’ve expressed conscious intention to disidentify from xyz there will probably be resistance in the form of thought and/or feeling – after all, you’ve kept this part of you for a long time and it’s served you well, why should you give it up? However, staying awake and aware will allow you to fully process the subconscious thought/feeling, and you’ll either feel worse (which simply means there’s more work to do) or you’ll feel better (which means your job is done, at least at the moment). Both results are fantastic, and doing this even once in your life will bring you one step closer to genuine peace.
This is also known as “integration.” Disidentifying from and fully processing thoughts or feelings is the same as consciously acknowledging the parts of yourself that you neglect and integrating them into your life.
Why Is Disidentification Important?
Chances are you get angry and anxious. Everybody gets angry and anxious at one point or another, but there is something we can do to help this. If you’re a clinically healthy person (in other words if you haven’t been clinically diagnosed with general anxiety disorder or any of its variants) chances are you get angry and/or anxious because, somewhere down the line, someone has threatened a part of you that you’re identified with and you feel the need to defend it/yourself. If you have been clinically diagnosed then you’re probably going to need more help than I can provide in this post; however, it’s possible this may help you (the clinically diagnosed) as well, I’m not entirely sure.
Disidentifying will also help you find your bliss (some might say “source” or your “center”). Imagine what it would be like if you disidentified from everything you’ve identified with along the way? If you did this you wouldn’t be afraid of death, and if you aren’t afraid of death you are truly free. As a side note, try disidentifying from the fear of death; it’s very hard, but the benefits are endless.
Lastly, disidentifying from your “favorites” helps open your mind so that you can see the psychic processes that go on within you. This is part of finding your bliss but I put it as a separate benefit because it’s an entire journey in and of itself, one that’s certainly worth completing due to the massive amounts of meaning felt while discovering such things.
Becoming less angry and anxious? Becoming blissful? Opening your mind to the reality inside of yourself? If you want all of these things, you can buy my overpriced book that beats around the bush for 3/4s of the time and gives you a useless solution at the very end! Only $49.99! Buy now!
What Should You Disidentify From?
Everything that bothers you, and everything that’s detrimental to you. If you feel dull, sad, angry, anxious, etc and you don’t know why there’s usually something you haven’t fully realized that’s trying to come into conscious attention, and that is what you disidentify from. You shouldn’t worry about disidentifying from the “wrong” things because anything you feel the need to disidentify from is worth disidentifying from for one reason or another, and you’ll know exactly what they are once you begin the process for yourself.
Is There Anything Else?
I’ve done my best to provide the concept of disidentification in this post, but the felt reality of it can only be experienced if you try it out for yourself. And so I close with the promise that this path does eventually lead to bliss even though it is the path less traveled, and even along the way you will begin to feel complete and realized as a true individual. Have a wonderful day!