What is Your Identity?

There are lots of things that go into making up our identities and all of us carry numerous titles…brother, sister, wife, husband, friend, mother, uncle, employee, business owner, dog enthusiast, basketball player.  Some of these titles are all about relationships and family.  Some of these titles are all about jobs and employment.  And some of these titles are all about things we love. 

But there is another part of our identity that often gets ignored…and that is how we die.  This subject came up this week with a client that often experiences thoughts of ending her life.   The questions were asked…what do you want on your epitaph?  Who do you want to be?  How do you want to be remembered?   She didn’t have answers for these questions at the time but definitely seemed pretty sure that “the girl that killed herself” was not a title she was super fond of.  (Thank GOD!)

So now these questions go to you…what do YOU want on your epitaph?  What do YOU want said at your funeral?  What do YOU want said about you behind your back (and hopefully to your face)?  How do YOU want to be remembered?  While some of these may seem like bleak, morbid questions, if we can determine the answers to these, it provides a great deal of guidance for how we actually live our lives. 

If you want to be remembered as a good, kind person, it would probably be helpful to do good, kind things.  If you want to be remembered as a wonderful parent, it would probably be helpful to do things that a wonderful parent would do.  If you want to be remembered as a hard worker that gets things done, it would probably be helpful to work hard and get things done!

It is also important to ask the question…is what you want now more important than what you want in the future?  Is it more important than your goal?  As you move about your day, it is important to keep your goals in mind.  Each little decision you make will hopefully get you one step closer to the target you are striving for.    So if being super healthy is a goal, is eating that Twinkie going to get you closer or farther from your target?  I’m pretty sure you see where this is going. 

The really neat part of all of this is that you (yes YOU) have the power to choose most of your identity.  Yes, it’s true, some things we have no power or control over and we can thank biology, chemistry, and fate/divine creation/etc. for that.  However, outside of those things, we can do and be pretty much be whatever and whoever we want to be.   And that is truly such a gift. 

Unfortunately, however, some people do not like to be responsible for their own health and wellness.  It seems as though it can feel like a lot of pressure and it can often feel easier to simply blame someone else for the circumstances and/or bad behavior.   However, the ability to choose, be it good or bad, lies within all of us.  This is as certain as that if we are born, we will eventually die.

Choice is a very powerful thing and believe it or not, you really, truly, honestly do have the power!