In our personal life we hold familial roles such as being a daughter, son, wife, husband, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, and so on. We have friendships. We also may be employed, or be a student, or both. We may have authority over others in some of these roles.
We all have accomplishments, skills, hobbies, and connections with other people in various ways. All contribute to giving our life meaning, purpose, and identity. The key word is “contribute.” So what is it exactly that defines us?
I used to define myself and my existence, my life, and my purpose, by the roles I had, my job, and my abilities. I was fortunate because none of these were ever taken from me, nor did I lose them. However, they did change depending on the season and stage of life I was in.
Regardless, there was a part of me that felt purposeless and drifting even while firmly and actively engaged in the roles I held. I was defined by what I did, and how well I did it. My life from young on was a relentless cycle of trying to live up to expectations (whether others or my own; whether real or imagined), perfectionism, and the crushing agony of never being “enough” whatever “enough” was.
Have you ever experienced that?
We can certainly enjoy life, be successful, be looked up to by others, be moral and honest. We can be kind and loving and generous. We can even be outwardly religious, and yet, be missing an absolutely critical component to life, our identity, and our future.
For a long time, I definitely was missing that critical piece. However, I just as definitely did not recognize that I was missing anything, nor would I have recognized it had someone clearly pointed it out to me. I simply did not see it, yet.
And then, something changed.
In March 2004, I was 37 years, 4 months old. It was the beginning of the end. It was the end of myself. it was a radical, life-giving, eternally impacting change. I saw what that missing critical component was. It changed everything. Forever. The enormity and beauty of this is larger than anything one can even imagine. This blog/website exists to help explain it.