Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finding My Identity

2 Months. That's the longest I've ever gone without having something thought-provoking to ask all of you. One could blame this on the holiday season, the new computer lab our church is starting, homework, or being a new dad. All of these probably added to this word drought. Perhaps the main reason why I haven't been asking all of you thought-provoking questions is because I've been too busy asking them of myself.

From my experience, it seems that we go through different "seasons" in life. There are times when things seem new and exciting, like Spring. There are other times when life seems like Autumn, and everything is transitioning and changing. Other times, life just feels like winter. It's cold and you can't seem to see what's really growing anymore.

When I find myself in these winter months, I tend to ask myself a lot of questions. If you have been reading this blog very often, you know that I am very interested in the relationship between humanity and God. I am especially interested in vocation and calling. Recently I have been wresting with vocation, calling, personality, spiritual gifts, and psychology all at once.

When I first started this attempt to get back on the blog wagon, I had every intention of writing a long, self-searching blog post. Now, after two phone calls and as many requests for help with other projects, I feel quite less inclined to spill my guts on the World Wide Web.

Let me leave you with these questions:
- What makes a person who they are?
- Can a person change themselves to become any type of person they want?
- Does God want us to be a certain person? Does He have an ideal Keith (and/or You) in mind and is He trying to shape me to be this ideal Keith?

1 comment:

  1. Can we change?

    Both Joel and I have pondered this through various conversations, especially when talking about compatibility in a marriage and learning how to mesh your life and personality with your spouse. Some days we may find ourselves thinking, "How can two very different people possibly function and thrive as "one flesh"?

    While both of us feel it's a balancing act, Joel has tended to express an optimistic approach, that anyone can totally change who they are and how they act if they put their mind to it. I agree to an extent, although I lean towards considering the reality that by our age, so much of our personalities and temperaments have already been formed by our upbringing and experiences, so to change a chunk of that would take a long time.

    While running away with my own thoughts at times, I have wondered how it can be possible to lie to ourselves- to change our involuntary gut reactions. For example, if I hate all country music but decide that I want to learn to like it because my husband does (totally hypothetical- we both hate it), but if I started listening to it all the time, at what point would my initial response convert from disgust to enjoyment? Would I just have to fake it til I make it? What if I never truly do come to like it- is putting up with it still a true conversion? Typically, it seems that the older we get, the more opinions we have formed via experience, and thus the less room for being open to new opinions forming (i.e. Maybe I really do like apples? - when we probably knew by age three whether we did or didn't).

    Another thread in which we may wrestle with the ability to change is with regret- even the smallest slices of "woulda, coulda, shouldas" can leave a bad taste in our mouth. Negative experiences from the past obviously cannot be changed, they have already been lived- but even if we "forgive" the bad memory for being bad, do we ever forget it? At what point do we cross from dwelling, grappling with it to embracing it- no longer having that mental grimace when it's recalled? Can we ever say, "I still wrinkled my brow just thinking about it on Tuesday" but then by Thursday, "I'm over it"? It doesn't usually work this way- acceptance is more gradual perhaps- but how then do we know for sure that we've moved on?

    Often, those seeds of how we've been formed and established are nestled so deep, the roots they have grown may seem impossible to pull from the ground.

    But say we choose one thing at a time (even females are like waffles sometimes- multitasking is not our friend when it comes to getting serious about changing a formed habit or attitude) and then we intentionally focus on how and why we need to change that behavior- perhaps the more we think on and pick our brains on one question regarding ourselves, we may willingly stumble into some answers that will make the action steps more feasible.

    Also, there may be some things we just need to accept. People with an artistic bend often have a dose of melancholy temperament, with pessimistic tendencies- yet did God not create all the temperaments? Perhaps there is a need for some skeptical thought in the world- so we accept this part of ourselves yet look for the windows in which we can invite improvement, the pursuit of some optimism, or whatever may be our opposite in the case- and thus crawl a little closer towards elusive balance.

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What do you think?