I Wish I Knew You Before You Knew Her
By Cicely Carr
I wish I knew you before you knew her. The pain she caused not only hurts you but me too. She didn’t believe in your dreams like I do. She doesn’t care for you like I do. She intentionally hurts you, something I would never do. She makes it hard for me to love you. You feel like you don’t deserve love, but you do. No matter what I do, the words I speak, the actions that I take, the love that I give, will never be enough for you. Your identity rests in her which breeds anger, resentment, disbelief, fear, anxiety and so much more. I try hard, giving space but your identity in her is sitting in my place.
I saw this post floating around the interwebs and hit me hard. Made me reflect on the people I was close to and it made perfect sense. I thought about all the pain they went through as children or other life events that negatively impacted them which in turn, they can’t seem to come up for air. They are stuck in a place, a cycle even as if they are watching their life but aren’t really living their life. They try certain things to change or break the cycle but still back to the same dark place.
I have witnessed different people with similar hurts and pains live out their lives so differently. One may have focused too hard on the past, fell deep in the the post traumatic stressors of life and literally built their identity or better yet, let that completely shape their identity while the other used that as fuel to do something different.
Many strong Christians’ identity rests in Jesus or God which allow them to not fret or worry about what it looks like but believes and has faith in what is to come. Their identity in God gives them a peace and hope.
Many people’s identity rests in their education, they will always find a way to bring up their degrees or where they went to college. Let’s not forget those whose career is their whole life.
What about mothers, so many I have heard or witnessed them losing their selves to raise their children. They put everything into their children that they forget to keep themselves and lose it when they are empty nestors and have nothing to fall back on.
Question, if someone were to talk about who you were to others or at your funeral, what do you think the first thing they would say or even think?
Life Events that Can Alter Our Identity
- Disease or Disability
- Interactions with people
- Loss of income
- New Career
- Being Fired or Let Go
- Watching Someone That Looks Like You Getting Killed
- Unfair treatment
- Sexual interactions
- Absence of something or someone that was needed in your life
So often do we let our situations, our past define who we are are. Like, the child who saw their parents struggle financially because of lack in many areas, go hard in academics or something that would break that cycle. These can be positive or negative. But it is how we feel that creates that spark with our identity.
Is it being created with resentment, hatred, fear, agony, jealousy or is it being created with hope, love, change, growth, compassion?
Our identity drives us in every facet of life. Our relationships will bloom or suffer. Our jobs/careers will ignite or fizzle. The way we parent, the way we love, the way we treat people will be amazing or horrible.
I write this only to shine a light in dark places and to allow time to reflect on self.
How has your identity helped or hindered you? What about people close to you, has their identity encouraged you or deterred you?
Reflecting On Your Identity
- List all of your characteristics good and bad on a sheet of paper. Do the good outweigh the bad? Are you ok with the “bad” characteristics? Are there ones you want to change?
- Think about life events that helped shape who you are today. Are they negatively or positively impacting you? Write about it!
- How would your friends and family describe you? Are you happy with that?
- What are ways you have impacted others lives and how? Do you show love? Do you show hate?
- Does your identity create bias thoughts and are those positive or negative?
- If they were to use your life as a lesson to teach others how to be, what would the lessons look like? Would they grow? What would they learn? Are these great lessons?
- Write your unapologetic truths about who you are.
Know that your identity is fluid, ever changing. There are many levels and stages where your identity will take shape, but has a foundation by your beliefs, morals and values.
Stay tuned for more…