For the longest time I had identity problems. Here are some examples of the things that would happen to me. Perhaps other things happen to you.
- For many years I would walk past a mirror and gasp when I saw myself. I didn’t recognize myself. That’s me? I look like that? But… I thought I looked different!
- If people told me good things about myself, it would pass through my ears into my brain and then disappear. *Poof* It left me unchanged.
- If someone told me she loved me, or I was attractive or a good man… I didn’t feel that way after a short while. It didn’t stick in me, didn’t add to me, didn’t become a part of me.
- If I did something extremely well, or built something with my hands out of spare parts, I may have felt an emotional rush for a moment, but by the next day I felt flat again.
How is this possible?
I’m was a smart guy. A nice guy. Good looking (apparently). Funny. Published author. Own my own business. Travelled the world. Great with kids.
So how come I would feel flat and empty again even just a few hours after having a wonderful time with friends?
Because the facts about me didn’t “stick” inside me. I hear them or see them and then lose them. They don’t stick inside me.
She doesn’t know who she really is.
If she can’t work out what gifts God has given her, what she is good at… then she will live a passive or frustrated life as she keeps trying things that she is not good at.
BUT if she can connect with her true self, then she can excel at her life and bring glory to God.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. – Matt 5:16
Why didn’t I know what I looked like in the mirror, no matter how often I saw myself? Because I couldn’t hold on to an accurate self image inside me.
Narcissism (excessive self love) is probably just the need to maintain a self-identity, so the person keeps looking at themselves, trying not to lose themselves.
We don’t need to have excessive self love, but we do need to love ourselves.
God HAS given me good things. Sure I also have limitations. But hey, I excel at some things too!
Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. – Rom 12:3
The bible says I can measure myself. I should be honest in my evaluation of myself. Not higher. But not lower either.
The vicious cycle goes like this
Within a few hours of doing well in a swimming event and almost breaking a 17 year old record, I didn’t feel like a champion, I didn’t feel like anything – I was empty again on the inside. Nothing would stick inside me.
No truth about me stayed with me and so I could not form an identity about myself that matched myself.
Because I couldn’t remember my achievements, I couldn’t admire myself for being good at things! Because I didn’t remember what I was good at, I couldn’t choose to practice those things and then learn to excel at them!
How pleasurable would it be for God to see His children flourish and grow and excel at the life He has given us? The enemy is the one who comes to steal life from us. God is a Father – He wants us to flourish and grow! He comes to give us life – and life abundantly!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10
How have I solved this?
Yes, there is a solution.
I have learned to remember the good things God says about me, or that people say about me. Remember them. Accept them. Make those truths become a part of me.
Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. – Rom 12:3
So now, if I have done a good thing, I say so to myself. I protect myself from abuse – because I matter to me. I invest into my house, because I have decided that I like have a house that people comment on.
I’m learning about me and investing into me. I listen to music I like and I wear clothes that make me feel good. Is it comfortable? Do I like how I look?
Colonize your life
I like to say I am “colonizing my life”. I go from piece to piece, choosing what stays, what gets turfed, what gets worked on so it improves. Room by room. Piece by piece. Item by item.
One small victory leads to another victory – pretty soon I’m like a rolling ball, gathering momentum. My life becomes mine. I cherish and protect what I have. My life looks like me, it reflects me.
In this process I get to know what I like. When I know what I like, then I can either improve what I don’t like, or I can get rid of the things that are terminally bad.
I now have another very personal, intimate blog http://attaching.wordpress.com and I invite you to read through it, from the start to the end. That page is the end. It’s only 31 posts and each of them is short.
Keep on reading
Leave a comment on this page if you’d like? Use a pretend name if you’re not sure you want to reveal your actual name. For further reading maybe try this post Emotional healing… what’s it like? or read some of my other posts on healing. Get into the discussion. Share your experiences. Help someone. Receive help from someone too perhaps.
This post might help you:
- Heal your identity – it will help to fill the emptiness inside
- A vital step to health – thankfulness
Other posts that I wrote:
- Why does the bible say to love yourself?
- God has a plan to prosper you… what to do while you wait
- Emotional healing… what’s it like?