Naomi (Noni) Deutekom

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"Who am I -really?"

Posted on 23 March, 2015 at 17:35

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, it was popular to say you needed to find yourself. It seemed rather ambiguous to me at the time. What does that really mean – to find yourself? It seemed like a good excuse to abdicate responsibility, leave a difficult relationship, or seek new adventure. However, there is some validity in asking the question. “Who am I?” can lead you in a number of healthier directions if you pursue personal growth in a more purposeful manner.

Start your journey by clarifying your core values (what is really important to you). You may want to explore areas such as spirituality, work, honest, integrity, relationships, personal discipline, and more. Make a pie chart and assign each area you identify a portion. This is what you want, or believe, not necessarily what you do right now. Take your time and explore. If life were perfect, how would you like to see your pie divided up? Be honest!

Now, take those same categories and divide your pie up as it really is. If you’re like most of us, you will have two very different charts. Your task now is to consider the discrepancies and work your way toward making them match. Consider what is realistic. If you work full time and also want to homeschool your kids, you will need to compromise somewhere. You will do that in your next pie! Some of those compromises will be big and some small. Ask yourself what is really important and why. Why is just as important as what.

Your third pie probably won’t resemble either one and if you do the exercise in a year from now it will be different than the one you do today. For example, my pie as a young mom would not resemble the pie I make today. For one thing, all I have to look after is myself (and aging parents). Life has changed and so has the amount of time I need to invest in my kids. In fact, if I invested the same amount of time in my adult sons now as I did 20 years ago, it would be inappropriate and unhealthy. That doesn’t negate my value of family; it just changes how my interaction with them looks.

There are many healthy ways we can explore self. The more you understand who you really are, the more you can live in compatibility with that. Remember, this is not a guilt exercise. You can’t do it all. Forgive yourself and compromise in appropriate ways. Leave the guilt behind.

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