Identity is defined as the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another. Some synonyms for identity are individuality, personality, distinctiveness and uniqueness. Do you know who you are? Finding your own identity is one of the most important things you can do in your life, and the earlier you find it, the clearer your path in life will become. You might be wondering if I’m being overly dramatic when I say it’s one of the most important things you will do in your life, what about your career? What about being a wife or a husband? What about being a parent? Yes, it’s more important that any of these because I can tell you from experience that if you don’t know who you are, none of these will work out as well as they could.
Too many of us beautiful souls are walking around living life in the picture that others created for us. We are the spouse that the world thinks we should be, we are the mother that we grew up watching on TV, and we are the workers that society tells us we should be in the handbook. This might be fine for a while, but if any of these things that you let define you were to go away, would you still know who you are?
Knowing who you are means understanding and being confident in your spirit, your personality, your likes and dislikes, your flaws (please don’t try to say you don’t have any, I will literally roll my eyes SO hard at you, nobody is perfect) your strengths, what motivates you, what gets you excited? What will you tolerate? What won’t you tolerate?
When you don’t know yourself and are not confident in yourself, every negative thing, every critique (even the constructive ones that are meant to help you grow) will send you spiraling into negative emotions. Worse yet, you will begin to believe every negative word spoken to you and about you, which in the end only harms you. It debilitates you from living the best life possible because you won’t believe that you deserve the best life possible. When you haven’t found yourself you open yourself up to letting anyone mold you to their desires. This is dangerous, dangerous territory because now you are allowing others to control your mind and spirit, which is hard to come back from…..not impossible, but hard.
It took me years to find myself. I let others tell me what my gifts were, where I should be working, what type of wife I should be, how a mother is supposed to act, and according to others I was failing across the board. I was miserable and put on more weight than I have ever carried. Even when I was working within the ministry I thought all was finally well; until I woke up one Sunday and sat on the bathroom floor in tears because I felt like my outfit wasn’t right, my hair wasn’t perfect and someone was going to tell me I wasn’t representing the ministry right. That Sunday I thought “I just want to die”. I had no peace anywhere within me, because I was living for others and others opinions. You HAVE to know your identity.
How did I find my identity? You will read this quote often in my writings “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Everything came crashing down on a rainy May day when my husband and I decided to divorce. Everything I thought I knew came crashing down (make no mistake though, my ex is a great man and wonderful father who is a great friend of mine and is now successfully finding his path too). I had to relearn or should I say learn who I was. This took lots of trial and error, a supportive family, great friends and a wonderful therapist who was obviously sent from God. The process of finding your identity and knowing who you are is an active lifelong one. Life will always throw you situations in which you have to make the best decision for you and you will need to understand yourself in order to do that. You have to know who you are, because the world will spend a lot of time telling you who they think you are.
I’m not saying it will be quick, I’m not saying it will be easy…….but I AM saying it will be worth it.
Finally the best way I can sum this up comes from this quote “The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose” – Richard Grant