Thursday, August 25, 2016

Identity Part 3...

How I see myself now... compared to before...

Learning that people leave your life is hard. Learning that you are not who you use to be is a challenge. Sometimes people get stuck on who we were before some major change in our life.  It has been a challenge to move from who I was to who I am becoming. I know there are old friendships I wish would forgive my shortcomings, however the last impression I left was that, a lasting impression that pushed them away from me. Having dealt with my negative character defects has left me at a loss of those friendships. 

Part of the changes is breaking bad habits, overcoming the hurts and sub coming to the process of healing. Some of the hangups that I did not realize I had, include enabling people. To some extent I wanted to become that superhero that everyone can rely on to get answers, address concerns, have resources, provide support and networking. Little did i know that yes I can provide that but to some limitation, it is God who will provide all and not myself. This also includes learning to surrender so that other people don't rely on me but they can rely on God, otherwise I've enabled them to always count on me to solve their every day life issues. 

As I completed my second inventory at my second trial of this 12 step program, I came to realize that the reason I provided so much help and support was because in many points in my life I lacked the help and support I was seeking. I felt rejected, abandoned ,unworthy, ignored, overshadowed and invisible. Yet in the long run I came to see that I matter I have value, and I can still contribute without exhausting my being and as long as I set healthy boundaries with those around me from coworkers, family, friends, ministry, church and relationships. But the only being with whom I cannot and should not set a boundary is with God. Setting a boundary with God is like not wanting oxygen, and we need oxygen to breathe and live daily. 

My weakness can become my strength
Unfortunately, I cannot control how I behaved in the past nor erase the many mistakes that I have made. This inventory helped me to realize that while I know that I matter to God, I had not submitted myself completely to be used by God. What I did in the past has rippled consequences in my life. Not every consequence has taken place at the same time, but whenever I come to a challenge or obstacle in my life, there are triggers that hit specific memories of any wrongdoing I have done and then I realize that I need to brace myself because I might be in for a deep valley where I will need to rely more on God, not only for strength but for him to remind me of his grace and forgiveness. For this reason it is important to make amends not so much to help others clean their side of the street but more for our internal peace with who we are and who we are becoming in Christ. 

How I want to be remembered...
I know that I am not ready to die, nor do I know when this will happen but each day that I wake up is a new opportunity that God has granted me to fulfill the purpose that he has designed me for and to continue working on myself as well as helping others find hope and faith. 

It's interesting that I have never dreamed of a fantasy wedding, the birth of a child, the purchase of a home, the adoption of a pet or the passing of a loved one. However, I have always imagined what my funeral would be like, who will be involved, who will be notified, what songs will be played, what people will say about me, overall how I might have impacted those in my life. I know that not everyone will remember me in the best light or in the best memories. Some will forget about me, some will try to ignore and some will be very impacted on my passing. My hope is that when that time comes, that my life is seen as a lesson what can go wrong, can go right and that people understand that trying to be good and trying to do good are an every day constant battle that take place day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. The battle of good and evil is more internal than what people expect or realize. It consists of doing good v. our own free will for our own benefit of each and every situation. That is what got Satan kicked out of the kingdom of heaven. Not willing to do God's will and trying to make his own will Godly, and make himself equal to God. When I leave this earth I want to be remember for having developed devotion to God, serving God, and embracing humility on a daily, not for wanting to be better than God as I did in my early adulthood. 

What I want to pass on to others...

Whether we are believer or non-believers, we all have purpose not only in our long term formation, but in our every day life. Our identity will continue to develop, form, change blossom and morph and both attract or push away people. However, bottom line is to always be connected to our higher power which will give us a place to belong, in heaven. While we are here, always give hope to the hopeless, plant a seed of faith to the faithless and grace to those who find themselves lost in the world. 

And this has been my Aha moment... 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Identity Part 2...

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations- Jeremiah 1:5

Our identity shapes daily, it is not a set of labels we get to wear for the rest of our lives. Some labels stick from the moment we are born to our death. Some linger for so long we start believing we are what the world says we are. Sometimes, some of the labels acquired come from our struggles we develop through difficult times.  When this happens, we tend to hold on to these struggles for so long because we have become conditioned to the circumstances in our lives. 


At some point in our lives, we tend to fall into a deep valley, it is so deep that eventually we give up on climbing back out. I know that is where I have found myself in the last couple of years. Falling into deep valleys of my life that I tend to stay there because I feel comfortable with those specific surroundings and the circumstances. The moment that the scenery changes I start to feel uncomfortable and questioning because things start to be unknown.

For the longest time I was comfortable just with an unhealthy relationship that was on and off for almost 7 years. At times it felt like I was single and at times I was doing more than expected to be in the relationship. Half the time I was being cheated on and I always turned a blind eye to the situation. The struggle in this was really big, especially since I had been with him for a long period of time. Every time that I would bring up something for discussion he threatened to leave me or told me that I would not find someone better in my life. That is when I would feel my weakest and would stay because I gave life to his words. Eventually the relationship ended, he had been dating someone for 6 months and told me a week after Valentine's Day. Of course I was crushed and I struggled with loyalty and faithfulness.  He identified me by my other struggle, codependent and that is what I was for the longest time, codependent of his approval, his will, his way disregarding myself throughout the whole time.

Who we want to be

When we forget who we want to be, we often forget what we wanted to do in our lives. Our identity is also composed of our hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations, inspirations, designed purpose, developing purpose, and our willingness to pursue our lives. Not one should outshine the other component of our lives, but very often expected one does outshine the other. I remember that for a long time, because of my work ethic, constant chaotic work places and never ending challenges, I was known to be a workaholic. Every conversation that I had was about work. But of course, why not? If I spent over 40+ hours at work, all I had to talk about is work. On weekends, getting together with my friends, the conversation always went back to work. The struggles, challenges, obstacles, lack of team work, big projects, future goals, etc. all work related. I was not doing other things that would help me grow as a person or my identity. Who I wanted to be was well rounded, who I was being was narrow tracked one lane driven. I didn't want to be the workaholic tied to the computer, checking e-mails on the phone and waking up in the middle of the night to send that last e-mail or thought to a deadline. I wanted to be the career woman, with a social life, inner peace and supportive network, that is who I wanted to be. 

Who we forget to be

Because we sometimes fall in submersion of our struggles and forget who we want to be, we also forget who and what we represent and who we should be. Who we should be is important in terms of our actions, our thoughts, our current and future decision and where we are rooted.

I attend a group on a monthly basis, organized by Christian women (the group does not exclude non-believers, if anything they are always welcome to attend). The group is called Women Rebuilding Women (WRW), their focus is to ignite the passion and dreams of women, by helping them create a healthy, supportive and safe community. During one of these meetings, we discussed the fruit of the spirit and how we are rooted. It was here that I had an epiphany. Sometimes, the fruit that we produce, is rooted from an unhealthy emotion, an emotion which can cause more harm than healing. I was rooted in arrogance and anxiety, where my actions would be done to get some recognition while fearing being rejected. I had forgotten to be authentic to who I was and to let God work on others instead of I working on others. In short, I was trying to do God's job.

I forgot that I was suppose to be me, and not an alternate version of God. I was not placed on this earth to replace him, I was placed on this earth to promote him, represent him and encourage others to find him. Who I am suppose to be is a child of god, seeking her purpose, reaching her dreams and goals but not at the cost if my identity nor taking God's identity. I'm to root myself in love and faith not in anxiety and arrogance, otherwise instead of being Godly and a good representation of a believer, I am being prideful and a representation of idolatry of my own image. 

And this has been my Aha moment...