Losing Your Identity

I’m reading a book called Man With No Name by Wally Amos. Yes, the one and only man who started the Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies business. It’s a story about losing your own identity- because at one point he was sued and lost not only his company, but the right to use his own name in starting a new one.

Imagine if you had to start all over and create a new life from scratch. You’ve spent from childhood to adulthood living one way, and all of a sudden someone takes away your identity and you have to start anew. It could be someone who misused your credit, misused your good name in a community, or committed a crime and has taken your identity as an alias. Losing who you are could be devastating personally, emotionally, physically, and in all other aspects of your life.

I think I can see what my daughters are going through in this regard. Here both of them are, living with us as parents, but we are now a blended, non-traditional family. You have two sisters who are only sisters in name and by the court of law- and yet they aren’t living with their biological family in any way, shape or form. To our community most people believe they are naturally our daughters- one has a darker complexion as I do and the other is fair skinned as my wife is. Yet they want everyone to know who they are based on their complete upbringing- questioning their ethnic background and culture.

I consider myself fortunate to grow up with a mother and father throughout my childhood to adulthood development. In today’s society, two parents making it together through 18-20 years of marriage seems to be the rarity, not the norm. I want my children to remember who they are and never feel like I’m asking them to completely cut themselves off from their early years. I want to hear about the good times, I want them to experience foods and events related to their ethnic background and culture- I want them to have pride in who they are.

I want them to see that we all just want to find a safe place in this world. That’s it’s fine to feel loneliness from time to time, but always know there are loving people around you who can give you that hug or the time to listen to what’s upsetting you. The Inxs song “Don’t Change” comes to mind concerning the relationship to yourself versus the outside world. If you are unhappy with your current identity, be sure to make the changes for you, not for what other people want you to be. You have to come from a sincere place, and people will notice if you are giving off a fake persona that you don’t truly believe in.

One of the sub-titles in this Wally Amos book is ‘turning lemons into lemonade.’ I’m always encouraging everyone in my life to look at yourself from a distance if you feel like there’s no way out of a problem. You’ll be surprised how this out of box experience will provide the solution you desires- or the steps to start you on the process. I find that first thing in the morning when I shower is a great time for those troublesome issues to resolve themselves- the steam and heat just relaxing the mind and body and freeing things up. Write it out if you want- put a line down the middle and list out the pros and cons of an issue.

Hope you and your family are doing well in these early spring days.

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