archives, you & me

F*ck Self-Effacement: Embrace Your Own Identity.


Throughout my life, I’ve mostly defined myself in relation to the person I was with.

I concluded that identity developed from one’s connection to someone else as opposed to it being something autonomous and independent. The result: my sense of self became inextricably intermingled with that of my partners’, much like an oil spill on the road when distinct colors merge and blend into the next with little differentiation between where one begins and the other ends.

Always, without fail, when we split up, I felt like an empty husk and all that remained was an aching void within.

The antidote: find another partner. Put a Band-Aid on the gaping hole where my sense of self should be and move swiftly on.

I suppose this is an example of the stereotypical spiritual predicament of an individual chasing something in the external world which can only be found within — a cruel cosmic joke, but I played along willingly.

Having a permeable identity compromises the integrity of our boundaries. It brings about co-dependence and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Moreover, when you respond to a request as an integrated yet dysfunctional energy system, it can be challenging to voice a ‘No’ when your partner wants to give a resounding ‘Yes’. What, then, happens to our voice?

In a relationship like this, can our wishes ever be truly expressed? How do we even know what our wishes are, when openly expressing what we want must first be validated by our partner?

Cue people-pleasing.

Self-assurance is absolutely vital to be able to distinguish your voice and your ideas from the glut of opinions masquerading as truth that we’re bombarded with on a daily basis.

But a strong sense of boundaries and a resolute sense of identity only emerge when we acknowledge that a relationship comprises two individuals, each with distinct and independent energy systems.

In co-dependent relationships, we borrow someone else’s identity to feel secure within ourselves. But the security gained is based on a fraudulent foundation; what we gain is only the illusion of security and what we borrow comes at an energetic cost.

The vampiric siphoning of power from someone else’s energy system demands an energetic payment. You, in turn, are required to invest all of your energy into this relationship, further depleting your system and further diluting your sense of self.

Ultimately, though, what this behavior reveals is a fear of being seen. When you lack self-confidence and self-esteem, it somehow seems easier and less complicated to fly under the radar, not to take risks, not to raise your head above the parapet.

Paradoxically, not taking risks is the biggest risk we can take. In borrowing an identity from someone else, we risk losing who we are. We risk our integrity. We risk our self-love. We risk our self-respect. And if we don’t have any of these things, we’re well and truly fucked.

Rather than being an act of self-protection, it’s an act of self-negation. It’s a way of saying ‘No’ to life. And that ‘No’ vibrates at a cellular level. That ‘No’ communicates the lack of ease in being yourself, which I truly believe manifests in dis-ease later in life.

You have come into the world with an array of skills and gifts and talents. With a voice and a viewpoint which are uniquely yours. You have come to the world to be everything that only you can be. To walk your earth-walk with passion and purpose and joy. To do everything in the way that only you can. To be viscerally, cellularly and magnificently you.

You are here to be seen in all your glory.

An identity which is acknowledged and embraced unapologetically is an identity that can rock the world.

Cut the cord to anything or anyone who siphons your energy. Cut the cord to anything that is not a statement of who you are. Cut the cord to any illusion of security that you’ve been holding on to.

In short, fuck self-effacement.

You are here to be seen.


Anne Marie Morello considers herself a free-range human: she is a Yoga teacher, a writer, a counselor and an English teacher. She has recently embarked on a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy, and she is particularly interested in the benefits of therapeutic writing. Writing is an integral part of her life; it’s how she learns about herself and the world around her. It helps her deal with the ‘plot twists’ in life with some kind of grace and humility. Although she is no fan of spiders or parallel parking, she’s even less of a fan of the injustice she sees in the world. She tries to share kindness and love in her interactions with others in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same too. You can contact Anne Marie via Instagram or Facebook.


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Rebelle Society
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