Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Identity is a fickle thing, isn’t it? There are so many ways in which we identify ourselves, and we use each one in different circumstances.
For example, when I first meet a person, I may offer my hand and say, “Hi, I’m Linda. So nice to meet you.” And I am identified as Linda.
But if a conversation ensues, we will ask about one another’s work (therapist, counselor) or marriage (wife) or children (mother) or grandchildren (grandmother). Or we may become quite comfortable as we get to know each other, and begin to inquire about what our parents did (pastor, pastor’s wife; father, husband, grandfather; wife, mother, grandmother). Or perhaps we had previous careers differing from what we do now (teacher, full-time stay-at-home mom). Or maybe what we aspire to be (writer).
What interest me is that we invariably identify ourselves by what we DO, and not by who we ARE. In my work, I need to discover that–who my clients really are, not just what they do. We talk about very personal things, and I am often amazed at the intimate things my clients tell me. After all, they don’t know who I am. They don’t know if I’m a safe person, and they are confiding very personal information to me.
So I would rather be identified by others something like this: “Linda is someone you can trust. She listens carefully, and she seems to truly care about her clients. She always tries to give biblical counsel, and she sometimes shares her own struggles so you know she’s human, too. She really loves God, and she loves the Bible. And she loves her husband, and her children and grandchildren.”
That kind of identity is far more important to me.