Identity

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Over the past decade or more I’ve been through a lot of big changes, particularly during my six years in the military.  I graduated high school, started college, went in the military, got kicked out of the career field I thought I wanted and put into something I hated, got married, then divorced, and overall had a lot of really tough challenges.  The combination of some of these things were causing me frequent health problems due to the stress, and I will say from experience that divorce is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences someone can ever have and I am very empathetic with anyone who must endure such a travesty.  Painful experiences aside though, these kinds of twists and turns in life change us.  They change our perspectives, our knowledge, our wisdom, our discernment, our trust of others, our coping mechanisms, how we handle people and situations, and our beliefs.  We can choose to use these changes to be positive and help us grow stronger, or we can allow them to seed our hearts with bitterness and anger or sadness and consume us with dark thoughts and personal barriers.

How we handle the trials of life has a lot to do with how we see ourselves.  If you see yourself as a victim, then you are likely to blame everything else that is happening “to” you or other people for not preventing it, or providing you with what you think you need.  It is a very limiting view to take, because it ultimately means that you don’t think you have control over anything and that people and circumstances inevitably dictate your life and happiness.  If you view yourself as a hero, you may always be looking for the solutions to problems and ways to save others from messes they’ve gotten themselves into.  This of course can be problematic if you take it too far and feel like you are responsible for the well-being of the people around you.  Don’t take on their burdens.  You have enough of your own.  Help where you can without assuming the responsibility that they need to take for themselves.  The only people who might need you to assume that responsibility only until they learn to take it over for themselves are your children and family members.  Help people learn to help themselves.

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As has been eluded to in many of my other posts, there is balance in everything.  Any strength taken to an extreme can become a weakness.  I recently read another quote that I think is absolutely correct.  I read in a blog post by Jeff Goins, a successful writer, that “action follows identity.”  He said, “Sometimes before other people will believe something about you, you have to believe it first.”  If you want to become a writer, artist, dancer, singer, entrepreneur, scientist, etc. then you first have to recognize that as part of who you are right now.  I have never considered myself much of a writer before, and never really had interest in it before, yet here I am now with a daily blog!  I’ve even been seriously considering writing books and becoming an author of some sort.  Though I never expected this to become my ambition, I am realizing more and more as time goes on that this is what I am endeavoring to become.  So, I may not have been a writer before, and as of this blog post, I have only been blogging for less than half a month, but as of today, I recognize within myself that I am a writer.  I wasn’t last month, but I am now.  This is something that I believe will only help my writing improve and my discipline to keep at it to strengthen.

As Jeff said, action follows identity.  So, since recognizing that I am on a writing adventure and that writing is now part of who I am, I have begun taking action to improve my writing ability.  I am subscribed to blogs of other more successful writers and I have recently registered for an online summit called the “Self-Publishing Success Summit” where I will hear from multiple highly successful authors about how they started, achieved their success, how to write well, how to market and publish, and a whole slew of other helpful topics on writing and publishing.  As this summit is taking place this week, I will happily share of few of the useful points in this week’s blog posts as I go through the videos.  I hope it will be helpful and encouraging to others who may be aspiring writers or maybe just thinking about it.

We all have our own stories to tell, some are just too uncomfortable sharing it yet.  Your story is worth sharing and the world could learn from what you have experienced!  The world could be inspired by what is in your imagination!  I hope you will take the time to research about yourself and discover all the wonderful parts of your identity as you have been created, then claim your identity and weed out the lies.  If you believe anything about yourself that makes you feel bad about who you are, then it is a lie and should be trashed.  You are made unique, wonderful, beautiful, and full of value.  There are things that only YOU can offer the world and no one else can do it for you nor replace you.  Share all that you are!  Be a blessing to others and teach what you have learned and imagined!  We need what you have to offer, but first you must discover it and believe it yourself.

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Keep checking back throughout the week and I will keep sharing what I am learning in my own exploration of myself and what I have to offer!  I hope you’ll join me in self-discovery and sharing!

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One thought on “Identity

  1. I myself am an aspiring writer. However, my journey there has been quite different than yours. I started out early wanting to be a writer and I went to school to learn how to write and I shadowed those that had been successful at writing and I wrote. I wrote a lot. It wasn’t until recently that I took a moment to stop and think about what it would be like to be a writer. I realized that the image I had in my head of being a writer was not all that appealing to me. I realized that, though I enjoyed writing, I wasn’t so sure that what I truly wanted was to become a career writer. I love sharing my imagination and stories with others and love hearing others’ stories even more, but that is a part of my life that will always be deeply personal for me and I don’t know if it will ever become a profession. I share that story, because just like our interests can shift to something we never thought about before, I have learned that they can also shift away from things we always thought about before. I still greatly enjoy writing and will continue to do so, but I feel like there is something else on the horizon for me; something that my identity will move me towards. I really hope that other people will be willing to share some of their experiences with shifting passions and identities.
    The only person who can ever be “you” is you! If you try to be someone else you are depriving the world of someone amazing and unique. The world can never get another “you”.
    Sometimes the things we have to go through make us stronger, and sometimes they do not. Sometimes they leave wounds that have to heal and even after they are healed, they leave scars. However, we can all learn from what we have been through and even the negative emotions have a place in our lives and shaping our identity. Can you imagine if you knew someone who was never sad? They would be great at parties and hanging out with friends, but no one would ever go to them to share a difficult day and they may not be very appropriate at a funeral.
    I also have been through so many incredible things and so many terrible things. I have had the joy of being married. I have had the heartache of being divorced. I have shared amazing holidays with my family and I have seem them torn apart by the decisions of one member. However, when I look at the life I have, the experiences I have been through, the joy, the pain, the friends, the enemies, the great days, the miserable days, I am really appreciative of the life I have. It has made me who I am.