One of the signs of a good book is the ability to enjoy it over and over again . Some of our artiles have been voted as most read and mostloved and some readers have suggested we put those articles in a categor “Timeless stories” and periodically publish them again. The article below is one of them which I believe is great for us to reread especially as we are almost 2 weeks away fro m Christmas .Enjoy
I recently started a new job and am still in the process of knowing everybody. It is almost two weeks now but I still seem to be meeting new people daily. Just last week ,I met yet another new colleague and we began chatting. He told me that he is married and his wife and himself were not planning on having children till after her university studies. Like he put it, then they would have children. I did not want to push the conversation further but it reminded me of the fact that many times we have our lives planned out .When we would finish from the University, get a job, get married, have children, reach the peak of our career etc however reality .com teaches us that things do not always go as planned. Sometimes we fail examinations, lose a job, get married and struggle with child bearing, not get married or even get married and find ourselves single again due to a divorce, separation, death and the list can go on and on, most times due to circumstances beyond our control.
While this may simply be life,the issue comes when we allow ourselves be defined by that perfect picture and as such start to mark ourselves as failures by those standards we or the society have made. Some people find it hard to identify themselves without relating it to their marital status, income ,friends or their possessions. If we sometimes find it very difficult to identify or relate with people who may be different from us as regards to the above it may also be a pointer that we are having an identity crisis.
Generally men define and derive their esteem from their jobs while women define themselves by their relationships and when there is a disconnect between our actual and the ideal, we could find ourselves being bombarded by the winds of insecurity that could lead to identity crisis in different forms. Sadly a number of people in a bid to keep up with a certain image or fit into the perfect picture start to compromise on several levels. The very things they spoke about over the years as despicable became the option as the years rolled by and their maternal clock began ticking. I know of one friend who had her status as “engaged” on Facebook just because of the pressure of people.
Sometimes this identity issue cuts across women regardless of their marital status and some women find it difficult to attend a function or appear on Facebook without drawing attention to the fact that either their clothes , bag ,or accessories or shoes are from a designer. There seems to be an insatiable need for them to always say this and the truth is if we always feel a need to let everyone around us know that we are wearing Designers, it may be a subtle pointer that we might be having an identity crisis.
There are several ideals that we all have and the need to fit the unachievable perfect picture might eventually lead to an identity crisis.
One of the greatest things that have helped me in many of the situations where it was so easy to spot the difference between the ideal and the actual is to look for reasons to be grateful. It is my open secret for going on. Knowing that it could be worse and that I do have many reasons to be Thankful. Just being in the right state of mind to go to work everyday is enough reason to be Thankful and that does not stop me from aspiring to be more. Yes , on the journey to getting to the Perfect picture, I can cope with the imperfections and rejoice as they are turned little by little to perfections without losing my mind.
Another thing I have found helpful is not to compare myself with anyone, I have learnt to be absolutely happy for people when good things happen to them. My mum once told me that those who do not rejoice when good things happen to people , will find out that good things are far from them and thirdly,I have learnt to enjoy where I am on the journey to the Perfect picture. Enjoying what I have and do not have at this period allows me to make the best of where I am.
Sometimes when we allow ourselves to be judged by the Perfect Picture myth, we end up falling into self-pity and recently I heard a quote that self-pity is the devil’s free babysitter.
You are who you are because of who you actually are, so do not allow circumstances or people to define you or create an image which you are not and if perhaps you are the one judging yourself based on the externals, I beg that you get your sense of identity from the fact that God loves you and knows you personally.
Yet another Friday,