Monday, April 16, 2007

What's your identity?

Today I heard something on the radio that I thought was interesting ... (later I'll try to link you to it, but need more time to find it).
So it really got me thinking, in a deep way. I'll probably struggle to explain it all, but I'll try ... it was specifically talking about those identities that aren't the best to have. It mentioned 5 of them:
1. The Past - your past is hanging over you. Most likely something bad happened during it or you behaved in a way that you think is shameful. You are either trying to hide your past from people, or it is holding you back because you can't move past it.
2. The Performance - you believe you are the sum total of how you perform. Therefore, you are trying to always be perfect and be successful and trying so hard to do everything right, because if you do things right than you are a good person. But if you screw up (which is going to happen eventually) then you feel like you must be worthless and no good, etc
3. The Problem - your life is whatever your problem is - you aren't pretty enough. You are too fat, whatever you feel is your problem is what you use to define your identity.
4. The Present - you are so caught up in the present - life is just the current crisis going on. Then you fly on to the next crisis and the next one and you are so caught up in the present moment that it is a HUGE CRISIS AND YOU FEEL SUCH A SENSE OF URGENCY about it
5. Prideful -just full of pride and thinking you are so grand and you know everything and usually, underneath it all, really you feel very unsure of yourself and so this is how you act to offset those feelings.

Interesting huh? I thought so. I see myself stuck in at least 4 of these identities, which I suppose means I have a lot of work to do to find a more healthy identity. I can definitely see these identities in a few people I know.

I suppose I have been told this same stuff, just in other ways before, but for some reason, hearing this today on the radio, in the way it was presented really hit home to me. I really understood it this time. I just don' t know how to change it. That's where I get stuck. It's easy to tell a person not to think a certain way, but I don't have a light switch in my head that I can switch off. There are things that have been in my subconscious for a long time. Most of the time I don't get what I'm doing. It's not like I sit here and think "Oh, well I have very low self-esteem because I'm stuck in my past and some not so pleasant things that happened to me and some bad memories I have. So if I could just learn to get over it and move on, things might change for the better"
No, most of the time I think "well life would be easier if I were smarter." or maybe if I was prettier or maybe if I just did x better or y better. Or if we had more money or if my dh was home from work more, or ......... I think you get the picture. And I'm busy ignoring the things I probably shouldn't be ignoring at all. I suppose, and maybe this is a silly analogy, but it's like I'm saying the house is too cold so I'll turn up the thermostat all the while ignoring the window that's wide open ...

Anyway, I guess it gives me a lot to think about truly .... I would have to say probably my biggest thing is my identity is stuck in the past which fuels me into performance, problems, and present.

So, do you think your identity is stuck somewhere it shouldn't be? Which one?

1 comment:

Damselfly said...

Interesting questions! I'll have to think about them....