Crisis of identity: discovering your ‘story’


I’m smack dab in the middle of an identity crisis. Oh, I know who I am: a middle-aged Christian woman and married mother of an adult child. I work as an editorial and advertising coordinator for a commercial magazine publisher (see About Me). My Facebook profile describes me as a lover of words, kitties, laughter, yoga and animal print. And sparkles. I’m also a published author (see Links) of nonfiction and fiction. However, I’ve been questioning my “identity” over the past few weeks in relation to my “story.” I’ve never understood what that means. Until now. For me, my story translates into what I’m called to write. In “Trusting the process…,” I talk about completing the first draft of a sweet romance. But herein lies the crux of my “crisis.” While preparing to write the second draft, I realized I possess a different story to tell. I shared this revelation with my husband, who said, “Why can’t you write both?” Indeed.

What’s your story—or crisis of identity?

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Gain vs. gap: realigning our focus

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I’m notorious for making things harder than they need to be. And often creating more work for myself in the process. Anyone else relate? <raising hand> Lately, however, I’m finding peace in that space between now and then. You know the space I’m talking about: the gap. Recently, I read an article written by a popular motivational guru who encourages readers to focus on the gain, rather than the gap. Loosely translated, I take this to mean we must look at what we’ve accomplished vs. what we have yet to realize. Consequently, rather than fight the process—of growth, of attracting abundance, of [fill in the blank]—I’m learning to go with the flow when necessary, and to identify when a means or a method no longer serves me before I wind up spinning my wheels in frustration. To quote my good friend KM: “assimilate; make connections.” And then trust yourself to know when to act.

What things do you usually make harder than they need to be?

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Finding your support system can make all the difference

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You’ve hit the reset button and started the arduous, oftentimes painful and slow, process of reinventing yourself: your thought patterns, habits, goals. You’ve purged the old to make room for the new, and now you want to share your plans with someone you trust. Someone who will understand (at least) the basics. Beware: those who don’t “get it” may look at you like you’ve sprouted a third eye, and/or say things that challenge your convictions. But, those who generally understand will rally around you to champion your quest. Unfortunately, though, even the most well-meaning friends can inadvertently choke the life from the tender seedlings of progress we’ve begun to nurture. That’s why we must learn to discern our closest allies—the tribal few who know when to provide an ear, or a (virtual) hug or a word of encouragement, when needed. And, of course, to celebrate our successes. Growth isn’t easy, but a support system offers vital nourishment to help us flourish.

Who are your closest go-to allies?

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Trusting the destination

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trusting in the destination

During a recent visit with a close family member, she thanked me for my transparency after I’d shared a personal battle with which I wrestle. Later that day, that same transparency fell under attack when someone accused me of acting and speaking devoid of sincerity. Perhaps many of us hide behind walls in order to protect our vulnerability, but find ourselves able to shed the self-imposed masks in the presence of those who inspire, embolden and love us without condition into our true selves—ickies and all. So when our transparent selves are rejected, it’s not unusual to feel battered and bruised. However, the next morning, my puffy eyes the sole evidence of a confused and depleted heart, I spent my quiet time randomly choosing devotions that provided a comforting balm. And one after the other reminded me to trust the destination no matter what my journey looks like today. While I continue to be true to self.

How easy is it for you to trust the destination?

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Treasuring the memories

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[Image credit: Stoonn]

When someone you love becomes a memory,
the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown

Nearly two weeks ago, I lost a friendship during an impasse.  After speaking with a couple of close relations to get their take on the situation, I couldn’t help but question if the two of us had truly been friends from the start.  If the correct definition of friendship (according to is “a personal relationship shared between each friend for the welfare of [the] other … [a] relationship of trust, faith and concern for each other’s feelings,” then we both miserably failed the other.  With that said, the act of saying goodbye just may have been the ultimate demonstration of friendship.  However, I still plan to treasure the times when our actions spoke louder than words, more closely resembling the above definition.  But at the same time, I’ll file anything else in the live-and-learn archives.  And the friendships that remain will be the ones I invest in.

Do you have at least one treasure you’ll always guard in your memory?

Coping with stress

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
~ Hans Selye

Referring to my post It’s all in my head … or is it? and the need to eliminate the stress-causing elements in my life, I’m feeling stressed just thinking about it.  For one, it will require some big changes that I’m not sure I’m up for.  In the meantime, one of my best girlfriends told me I need to rest, heal and trust.  I wrote these words on a post-it note which I keep transferring to each new day in my Franklin.  And before I plan on making any life-altering decisions, I’m going to try something first.  Although it hasn’t worked in the past, knowing it may improve my health is a strong impetus for me to try harder.  The idea is to step out in confidence with my actions, in anticipation that my feelings will catch up.  While this should result in less stress, maybe it’s also a way to hang on to my hope for Someday.  Or perhaps it will change the outcome of my future altogether.

What is the secret to eliminating stress from your life?