You can’t define yourself solely based on your ties to other people and pretend its the entirety of who you are. You may be someone’s daughter, mother, girlfriend, wife, sister, aunt, co-worker, employee, boss…. but that’s not who YOU are. That’s just who you are in relationship to them. True identity is knowing who you are in relationship to YOU. Strip down all the labels that you think are what defines you. It’s not that it doesn’t matter if you are a gym enthusiast, foodie, hipster, soccer mom, artist, career woman, or even President of the United States! (I’ll never give up on you girl) What you do…who you are in relationship to other people… these things don’t define you.
Identity comes from within.
It’s knowing if you feel a sense of utter joy when you see a dog playing in the park, or a sense of relief when you go for a walk in the woods. Does your soul yearn for travel to exotic cities or do you find comfort in small quiet places? It’s knowing whether or not you’re comfortable being an openly empathetic crier or if you use humor to protect yourself from pain.
Identity is knowing who you are in times of struggle. Because identity is the building block of character.
When a family member dies, are you the one who writes the eulogy and makes the phone calls and keeps it together? Are you the one that can’t form a sentence for a week? Maybe you’re the one who doesn’t show up. There is no perfect way to react to grief, but understanding yourself makes the process easier. It makes you stronger during the dark days. Like when someone you love gets cancer and you take the kids, make food, and keep them laughing as often as possible; because if you stand still long enough to think about what’s happening, you might lose your mind.
Identity is knowing when your heart is hurt and why… and what you need to do to heal it. No amount of money will help you find yourself. There’s no app on your phone for it. You can’t just fill out a 20 question survey on Facebook and smile when it says you’re a creative extrovert or nod in agreement when they reveal you are a book worm introvert. Those are labels and labels are messy. What if you identify yourself as a book worm and you meet a musician? Are those two labels going to keep you from finding out if perhaps the other person’s soul compliments yours? Maybe on the outside you wouldn’t appear to FIT with each other. But on the inside, your souls could be singing the same tune.
Identity is being able to understand the song of your soul. It’s also the most important thing you need to understand about yourself before you do ANYTHING in life. If you don’t know WHO you are, then you can’t start your journey and expect it to turn out well. You can’t have intimacy until you have achieved identity, otherwise, you are just giving away a confused heart and asking someone to love you, when you don’t even know who YOU are. Same goes for the other person. If you know yourself, but the person you want to love has not established a solid identity, the relationship is doomed to fail. Because that person is asking you to love them, without knowing if they even love themselves. They don’t even know exactly who they are, yet they are asking you to love them anyway.
How can you really succeed in a career when you aren’t really sure what you want or how you feel? So many people wander aimlessly around Corporate America extremely unsatisfied because they hate their jobs. Listen, just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. If it doesn’t feel right, then you need to look into yourself and find out WHY. Once that question is answered, once you have truly found the arrow pointing in the direction your soul wants to go in, that’s when you can move forward. That’s when you have found yourself, and that’s when all the stars will begin to align.