You are not your labels. Fact. You call yourself names. Many of them. You listen to what others name you as if they know you better than you do. Most of them don’t know their own name and feel better by misnaming you too. Think of them as drunks. You wouldn’t let a drunk get in your head, now would you?
Your identity is complex. Your names matter. Write. Live. Rinse. Repeat.
Gu, Dosch, and Dorothy? And, please. Others?
11 thoughts on “Day 21 (Labels)…”
In the exploration of my Identities, I found purpose. Purpose in who I was made to be and a purpose in what I am here to do.
If you struggle with your Identity like I did, just look for the GOoD things in you that have been there all along and write them down. That’s the best place to start.
· I’m a child of God and a sinner.
· I’m a believer in Jesus Christ and his unexplainable grace.
· I am a kid at heart and love to make others laugh.
· I am a fierce competitor and a bad loser.
· I am tender, but learning to be more tough.
· I’m a coach, mentor, and truth teller.
· I’m a great starter and working on finishing.
· I am a lover of genuine, authentic, and raw relationships.
· I am assumptive, but learning to seek understanding.
· I am incredibly blessed but often forget it.
· I am arrogant, but working to build my humility.
· I am assumptive, but learning to ask better questions and seek understanding.
· I am my own worst enemy and my own biggest fan.
· I am a husband.
· I am a life-long learner.
· I am tender, though learning to be more tough.
· I am nice, though working to be more kind.
· I am an agitator.
· I am selfish, though growing to think of myself less.
· I am distracted, though dialing in my focus.
I am a health enthusiast and love testing my limits
My experience is “identity” is the second most important but hardest part of the CORE to build. The most important part of the CORE is the worldview – which is the context for discovering identity. Without clarity, depth, comprehensiveness and significance in your worldview, you’re search for your identity will be a perpetual goose chase. Shallow worldviews lead to superficial identities.
Like you wrote here, Toto, it’s easier to be clear about what a mistaken identity looks like than to be clear about one’s true identity — especially one’s own. Along with name-calling and labels, here’s another top 10 “ands” — AND I’m sure they will spark some controversy — to what else I believe belongs on the list of mistaken and psuedo-identities our culture has embraced:
1. Roles — they come and go
2. What you do or don’t do – your resume and your rap sheet
3. Your hobbies or your work
4. Where you were born or the school you went to
5. Your race, ethnicity and gender
6. Your addictions — an “_____ic” is a label, not an ID
7. The neighborhood you live in, the car you drive, the tattoos you have or the clothes you wear
8. Your political, religious and sexual orientations
9. The family you came from
10. Your character (who you have become)
Some of the above may describe you, but they don’t define you.
Your identity is complex and your identity is simple. Like your fingerprint, there is only one of you. Your identity is what makes you truly distinct (parents with multiple children — even identical twins — know how true this is). Your personality, your eccentricities, your gifts, your strengths, your yearnings, your physique, and your mental hardwiring are all unique.
I believe apart from God, it’s not only difficult it’s impossible to discover the fullness of your true identity — because if God truly exists, your true identity isn’t who you say you are or who anyone else says who you are — it’s who God says you are.
Which is why the root of most every identity-crisis is a worldview-crisis.
Which is why worldview is most important — Scripture states not only were you fearfully and wonderfully made by God in his image in your mother’s womb, but that your identity is incomplete until you enter into a relationship with him, because we were not designed to live apart from him. We are God’s OPUS, created to be awakened, challenged and transformed from a lone towards all ONE – one ‘L of a difference — LOVE.
Which is why the Builder’s Journey as lost souls to find ourselves leads first to finding God, and then to God unveiling ourselves to ourselves that we might be ourselves..
Identity? It’s complex and it’s simple — but it’s not easy.
God help us all.
OMG. All these identity thoughts are amazing. We’ve all been Gu’ed. Thank you…
Amen to Gu’s AND & Doscher’s AND that our Worldview is key to our Identity.
My AND: My ‘I am’ statements that define my true identity can only exist as a result of the Great I AM. Who I am to Him, who He is to me. The great Author, Creator, Giver and Sustainer of Life, I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14).
The first time I did this exercise was last December at an OSU Head Coaches’ practice. I was paired with Chad Silverstein who was a guest of Chet’s, there to connect us to his Builder’s Journey. I read him my list of I am…he listened, nodded, and told me most of what I had written was crap.
That was thirteen months ago. That was a lifetime ago. Many of the labels I had on that list are no longer accurate…so it serves as a good exercise to think, a lifetime later, about who I was then and still am today:
I am a curious catalyst, a sucker for growth, a constant work in progress. I am kind though not always nice, more tough than tender. I am driven, drawn, and intolerant of much drudgery. I am fiscally conservative, socially liberal, interested in thoughtful views different from my own. I am an emotional risk taker, quick to connect, predisposed to find the good and interesting in others. I am spiritual and not religious, a good person doing my best, a hurt human hurting humans, a loving human loving humans. I am happily married, crazy in love with my wife, son, and dogs. I am trustworthy, forgiving, a hardworking minimalist who loves a good nap. I am a builder and being built. I am grateful for I am blessed. I am good and getting better, growing closer towards the essence that created and connects us all…love.
Today I learned that my identity is complex and simple. I AM who God says I AM. It doesn’t just stop there. The relationship I build with God will help me believe and live out who I AM and all that God has called me to be.
Freakin’ magic, Kiesha…
Similar to Andrew’s comment above, I wrote a list a month ago that was crap. It was safe, it sounded decent, like 99% of social media profiles or resume headings. Last night I wrote out a bunch of things that, while they are rough and need rinsing, are real. I wrote for me, for once. What came from it? Maybe not quite (yet) purpose…but a smidge of peace and a glimpse of clarity. Progress. Acceptance. Release. Confidence.
Every day at 2:20 PM the alarm on my watch buzzes and asks, “Who are you?” My answer is Galatians 2:20, which I say out loud if I can, but at least recite in my mind: “I am crucified in Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ Jesus who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” It’s an aspirational and inspirational reminder in the middle of the day. Thanks Gu!