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In a college linguistics course, we talked about language and identity. As the discussion evolved one day, we talked about how language reflects identity. At a certain point, I offered the thought that perhaps our souls don’t have “colors.” My professor was elated. The discussion called forth powerful emotions. Some of my peers disagreed with me in a respectful way.

When souls can learn to dis-identify with emotional energies that are ‘passing through’ and to identify with the level of the soul that lives in peace and unity within the divine Oneness, the world will move to a new level of harmony and peace in our common life together. For the life of the soul is the doorway to true and lasting peace on Earth.


The first time I heard the idea that our emotions are not who we are, I scoffed. It turns out that I liked my emotions when I could feel them. It had already taken a couple of years of living outside of mainstream society to feel human again. Isn’t it confounding that participating in mainstream society could make me feel less human?

Black women experience higher levels of discrimination than white women do, but when white women experience discrimination, the effects are the same. So discrimination leading to higher levels of visceral fat, that is true for African-American women and for white women. When whites report higher levels of discrimination, their health is also hurt. It really says something about the nature of human interaction.

—David R. Williams in Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson

Not only did I think my emotions were a part of my identity, I had also thought my work defined me. I was just completely out of touch with who I wanted to be.

Now that I have been self-employed for a couple of years, I feel free to continually explore who I am and who I want to be. I hope I always ask myself, “Who do you want to be?”

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