Identity comes from a source. Identity is something that is given or bestowed while we are in relationship with others. The validation of our identity is understood by how we impact others. We have a longing to know that we matter in the lives of others, that we make a difference and that we can’t be replaced.
The problem is that we think we have to preform or earn something in order to be desirable. Once we find the formula or accomplishment that will bring us attention, we have to keep it going or risk the feeling of failure.
And so we live with the fear and burden of maintaining whatever it is about us that might get us noticed and the fear we will never be accepted or never be seen for who we really are. We develop a false functional self-image, even if it is negative. As a child most of us want to be noticed, “Look what I did!” was the cry of our heart. We want to know that our existence has an impact on the world.
The problem is that others angry words form a unhealthy view. We hear things like: “What do you think you’re doing? You’ve ruined it.” We believe our impact is awful; that we just foul good things up. We believe the identity of “I am just a screw up”. So we form a commitment to never be in a place where we can foul or screw things up again. Years later, friends and colleagues wonder why we are disconnected, unwilling to risk. The answer lies in our identity, an identity we received from the perceived impact we had on the most important people in our lives and we make a vow to never be in such a place again.
So what do we do? The willingness to risk and enter into relationships and life come from identity and validation of who we are. The knowledge that we have value, worth and that we are loved give us the willingness to risk and believe that we can have impact in our world. The only thing that can turn the tapes off in our head is the secure knowledge that we are loved and important. The only secure source for this is a relationship with God.
If you would like to meditate or think more on your identity and validation that comes from God’s desire and concern for you look at the Letter From a Loving Father or How Does God Validate You and How Does God Validate You Pt 2