Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Identify Yourself

This post is about identity, resilience, and where the power to deflect attacks comes from

Racial issues always seem to ruffle feathers.  I acknowledge the pain that accompanies questions of my value in society.  The picked-on victim mentality can be adopted by anyone and makes us especially sensitive to even the slightest insult.

The power to deflect the darts deflating personal worth comes from God’s word, the family and our choice to identify with the truth.
Who Am I?
Identity in God’s Word
  • Moses said, “Behold, I am a son of God in the similitude of his Only Begotten…” (Mos 1:13)
  • Genesis says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  (Gen 1:27)
  • And “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10)

Each of these verses describe the human being as valuable, in appearance like God and of a divine parentage.  With this knowledge, the comparison of skin colors or ethnic backgrounds are moot.  Male and female humans are infinitely beautiful in all their varieties.

We are social creatures.  Our happiness comes from connection with others.  When connection is withheld based on race or any qualifier, we are pained.  It is human.  The beginning of all connection and social interaction happens in the family.  It is to the family that we must look for the answers to identity questions.

Sheri Dew says, “the family should be a place 
  • of security and safety
  • where we may safely retreat
  • where love and acceptance are the undergirding and prevailing sentiments
  • where we hear many more positive messages than negative ones
  • where we can safely be vulnerable
  • to develop our resilience
  • to replenish our emotional supply
  • where we are reminded on a daily basis what is important and good
  • where happiness really comes from 
(Dew, Sheri. No One Can Take Your Place. pp 173-174)

I know that family doesn’t measure up to this definition very often but I want to begin with the ideal.  People who are resilient are able to connect with others in difficult times.  Often they draw strength from their family narrative.

As a youth, I chose to emphasize my connections with friends.  I thought friendship would last forever.  While I’ve had some deep and beautiful friendships over the years, they have not lasted like family.  You just can’t shake family.  They are connected to you by definition and whether you turn to them or not, they are always around.

It is amazing to note that those who deflect identity crises the most gracefully have someone in their family where they find a sense of security.  The power is even present in the family history stories from the past.  The narrative of strength, perseverance and faith may not be clear in the immediate family but visible in ancestors who fought bravely in battle, persevered in times of drought or stood up to injustice.  

Ultimately we choose to identify with the truth of our value as God’s creation, as an integral link in a family and as a part of the human family narrative.  The God and Father of our souls valued us so highly that he gave his son Jesus Christ as a ransom for our broken and corrupted souls. (John 3:16)

Image source: DeanDraws

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