Lately, I see so many people, particularly young people, desperately trying to figure out who they are.
Most people can’t answer the simple question, who are you?
When asked, the majority of people would probably respond, I am so-and-so’s mother, daughter, son, cousin, husband, etc. OR they would respond, I’m a doctor or a teacher or an accountant… The list goes on. But do those answers truly answer the question? At the core of your being, are you someone’s wife, mother, teacher, or nurse?
WHO ARE YOU REALLY?
It seems that people of all ages are still trying to find the answer…
We have forgotten who we are.
Is it such a shock that the United States is experiencing what is being called The Great Resignation? In September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 4.3 million Americans, or 2.9% of the entire workforce, quit their jobs in August. Those numbers grew in each following month. Economists say this is like nothing ever seen before. Everyone is scrambling to learn why this is happening. Is it the more-than-generous government benefits and pay-outs? Is it the pressure of closing schools and the shuttering and/or reopening of businesses? Is it the fear of the virus?
I tend to agree, to an extent, with UC Berkeley economist Ulrike Malmendier and Texas A&M psychologist Anthony Klotz who believe that the pandemic and all its consequences motivated workers to leave their jobs for greener pastures. I do think people are re-evaluating their lives and their life choices while searching for a better, more meaningful existence. However, I think there is a deeper, more spiritual thing going on here than simply looking for a greener pasture.
Stop for a moment and ask yourself, who ARE you? How do you define yourself?
I really believe that how we see ourselves and how we define ourselves have an impact on our lives.
Aren’t you more than a parent or spouse? Aren’t you more than a doctor or a lawyer? Aren’t you more than the college you went to, the town you’re from, or the family that raised you?
Yes, all those played important parts in the person you have become, but aren’t you worth more than that? Isn’t there a more important meaning to your life than what your degree is in or how many hours you bill?
What is the most fundamental thing you can say about yourself? At the basest level of nature, what are you? Are you even living up to that most basic definition?
Last week I wrote about the wonderful Cornerstone retreat that I attended. While at the retreat, we heard a talk by the pastor of St. Vincent Martyr, Father George. He talked about who we are versus who we are meant to be. I was intrigued by his talk because this is something I have always wondered about. Who am I, and what am I meant to be?
Father George said that, at the most basic level, we are human beings, but we don’t always live up to that most basic standard. He made an observation that hit me hard and caused me to stop and really think about what he had just said. Father said, “If I define myself as what I do instead of what I am, I am a human doing rather than a human being.”
Think about that… If I define myself as what I do instead of what I am, I am a human doing rather than a human being.
Am I a human doing rather than a human being?
Am I looking inward to whom and what I am, what I was created to be, or am I just concerned with doing everything I think I am meant to be doing to fulfill some arbitrary definition of who I am?
One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is from Psalm 46: “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11).
At the most fundamental level of being, there is God. He is all and encompasses all. He is.
And what does He want from us? To simply be still. To simply BE.
Yes, we need to do things. There are many times in life when we need to be human doings; however, what we do should not define who we are.
We are children of God, and at the most basic, fundamental level, all we need to be is still so that we may see, hear, understand, and know God. There are times when we have to stop doing, stop running, stop climbing, stop racing, and stop reaching. There are times when we just need to be, and whatever we need to do will come naturally without having to search for greener pastures.
So many are searching for a deeper meaning in their lives, but our lives should not be defined by our job or station in life. Having a job is important. Being a wife or mother or father or son is important. Being a doctor or nurse is important. But we can’t let these labels define who we are, nor can they define our self-worth, that fleeting feeling of pleasure we find for that brief blip of time when our grass is greener.
We need to be who we are. We need to be in the moment. We need to be children of God.
Everything else is just filler.
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two will be out in early 2022. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines, is now available in all formats.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021).