Saturday, October 6, 2012

How Do You Know You Are You?

On July 5, my blog "What's Your (Secret) Identity?" looked at our process of building an identity.  I am now wondering about identity dissolution.  When parts of our identity are threatened by criticism from others, we often become defensive.  When we lose jobs or relationships that contribute to our identity, we are likely to become depressed.  Ideally, we are able to redefine ourselves and find other activities, new relationships, or new roles to fill the void.

Is your identity also your hopes and dreams?  I think so.

Writer's block can be depressing partly because it challenges the identity of a writer.
Not making a team is devastating partly because it challenges the identity of a young athlete.

Look back into a transient depression you may have had.  Was it caused by a temporary loss of identity?

I recall, in Grade 7, not being chosen for the team of library helpers.  I fell to the hall floor, leaned on my locker, and cried tears of sadness and disbelief.  That memory is strong for me because I saw myself as a lover of books and an excellent reader.  How could the library teacher not see this?  To function, I had to create an identity for myself that was not 100% dependent on the cooperation of the universe.  This took many years.

When I taught Grade 2, I would pose questions for my classes of seven-year-olds.  Their answers would form entries in their journals.  I asked, "How do you know you're you?"

The  #1 answer:  "I know I'm me because I'm wearing my shoes."

How do you know you're you?

Whose shoes are you wearing?

Can you feel your being dance from ear to ear regardless of changes in your circumstances? 

No comments:

Post a Comment