Anxiety over Identity

Pat and I went to a gala Christmas concert yesterday.  I was inspired by a number of the conductors but especially the head conductor.  He was being fully himself, overflowing with creativity, risking new interpretations of the music combined with enthusiasm and charisma.  And the students and audience alike joyfully followed him along, getting caught up in his energy.  This conductor was fully himself, and so inspiring to be with.   Perhaps an Enneagram type SEVEN or ONE.  This energy and creativity reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright, whose biography Pat and I are reading.  Creativity and faithfulness to self beyond measure.  Full of LIFE.

But we Enneagram THREEs depend upon structure and framework in which we can “perform.”  We do not really know who we are apart from said structure, but can perform quite well within a chosen framework or context.  The frameworks I have chosen, consciously or unconsciously, for my identity have included mostly school, business, and church.  In a way, perhaps even Pathwork falls into this category. But who am I apart from the identity I have found in these frameworks, these structures that I have embraced so fully all my life?

Realizing this absence of authenticity is scary for me. THREEs long for authenticity, our “performing” behavior notwithstanding.  But I can barely stay separate from these defining frameworks in my daily living for any significant time, for if I do dare being on my own separate from frameworks I become overly anxious.  I also feel cheated by the frameworks I have clung to.  They have not kept me safe in life though I have given them my all.

And when faced with such creativity out in the world such as I was yesterday, my heart aches to express itself for who it is authentically, not according to some framework I have hung my identity hat on.  To open from the inside, that is my longing.  To explode onto the stage of life as I truly am.  So much anxiety in not having done this, yet equal anxiety to step forth onto the stage as the real me.