Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quarter Life Crisis Symptoms: Identity Crisis Pt. 2 - Find YOU

Erik Erikson said that an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. In laymen’s terms: You’re trying to figure yourself out. Most of us have spent so much time living the way we think people want us to live that when we’re by ourselves, we find ourselves searching for who we really are. We accept the world’s standard of beauty, the world’s standard of living, the world’s standard of us that we don’t have our own standard by which to measure ourselves. We know exactly where we fit in the mind of society but have no idea where we fit in our own mind.
                The problem is we haven’t set up our own standards. What is important to you? What are your values? Stop trying to figure out what everyone else thinks you should be and focus on what you think you should be. Until you figure that out, you will never be where you want to be because you never took the time to figure out what you wants.
                Quick story: So you may know that I work as an intern at a Christian church. That’s one of my values, growing to be a better Christian. Not perfect, but better. Anyway, part of being a Christian is evangelizing and helping other people to become Christians. So I’m in this Bible study with this guy. We’ll call this guy Mike. Now Mike knows he’s not a Christian and he says he wants to be one. So we’re in the Bible studies and Mike is giving me all the right answers but outside the studies his life really isn’t changing. Now some people will tell you that “you can’t change only God can change you” but personally I don’t believe that because I see people change and prove that saying wrong every day. You can change, YOU have to change. But I digress again… So finally we’re in this Bible study and I ask Mike, “Man to man, don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. Do you even want to change your life?” Mike says “No” So I closed the Bible and I say, “Alright well then we’re done. If you don’t want to do this then don’t waste your time. Yeah sure I want to be a Christian, but I can’t be a Christian for you. And I’m not going to force you to become one so if this isn’t what you want to do and you’re just doing this to please me then let’s stop wasting your time.” And we never did another Bible study together after that.
                What the point of the story? The reason why Mike was never going to reach the goal, which was to change his life for God, was because he didn’t really want to. It was not important to him. Do I think he made a mistake? Yeah, but I’m not the one living his life. I don’t decide when he comes and goes and what he does for a living, he has to decide that. And what I’m saying is that the reason why so many of us are having an identity crisis is because we’re too busy trying to please “the guy leading the Bible study”. We show up to life every day, doing the right things, saying the right stuff but we never get in touch with the right person. It’s time to get in touch with you. What is important to you? What are your values? I can motivate, inspire, spur, encourage, but the one thing I cannot do be you. Only you can be you.

                So you’re having an identity crisis? Good! You need this. You need this more than you know. You need to sit down in a room or go to some place where it’s you and no one else and just focus on what is important to you. I take time to do this every morning. I call it “Quiet Time”. This is your life and only YOU can live it. You need to find you and stay true to that person. Stop trying to live up to everyone else’s standards. Find you and stay true to that person. Find you and stay true to that person. Find YOU and stay true to THAT person.   

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