A Post from Eric Scheske over at The Daily Eudemon got me thinking again about the whole question of 'who I am'. I constantly struggle with the question of Who I am? One thing I do, to help me find out is journal. Usually at the beginning of each term - so about 3 times a year. I journal based on questions from a Science Fiction show called Crusade which was a spin off of Babylon 5. Each episode of Crusade began with a series of questions being asked by the narrator to the Captain. They were:
Why are you?
What do you want?
Who do you trust?
Who do you serve?
Where are you going?
I find that as I get older, I really like lists. I have quite a few of them that I use in various forms and means. The daily goals I have been using as guidelines for living are:
1. To get enough sleep.
2. To eat right & exercise daily.
3. To refuse to be a perfectionist.
4. To carefully control finances.
5. To ask for help when needed.
6. To pray and read the Bible daily.
7. To not pressure self into planning entire life today.
And then there are principles to live by, which I got from a book by Dr. James MacDonald, which are as follows:
Eight Principles to Live Your Life by:
1. I will do all things as unto the lord.
2. I will live in the light of the judgment seat of Christ.
3. I will consider my weaker brother in all I do.
4. I will do nothing unless I'm sure that it's right to do.
5. I will do all things to the glory of my God.
6. I will avoid what may appear wrong even if I know it's not.
7. I will abstain from things that could enslave me.
8. I will seek always to do what I believe Jesus would do.With these three sets of guiding questions or goals, I have been fairly happy with my progress so far. But I still can not answer the question of who I am. My goals are to be a good man, a good husband and a good father. I think the activities listed above - the journaling, staying healthy in body, mind and spirit - will help those goals. I want to be a better friend to the people in my life.
The Closes I have come is a poem I published a few year back found here called "poetry in being". Yet If I had to answer I would say:
I am a Roman Catholic
I am a husband
I am a father
I am a son
I am a brother
I am a friend
I am a bibliophile
I am a writer
Some of my favorite quotes about identity and being are:
"Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you."
Chuck Palahniuk - Fight Club
“Anything that doesn’t lead us to that – to better know and serve God – is a waste of time.”
-Charles de Foucauld
"There is no certainty, only opportunity"
-V for Vendetta
"It is in changing that things find purpose."
"Trouble is a part of life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough."
"It's Very Important to understand the difference between dreams and goals. Dreams are things we wish for--things you enjoy thinking about but don't really know when they'll happen. Goals, on the other hand, are specific things you have decided you need to accomplish within a clearly defined period of time."
"It is when things go wrong, when the good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly."
"Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth."
"There is nothing so constant as change. Meet it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Learn from it.
The one thing you can be absolutely sure of in your life is change. It’s the only thing that never changes. The law of nature is that you either grow or you die; there’s no in-between. So, what have you chosen so far? Are you growing in every area of your life? Hey, it’s not enough to be growing and looking great just because you work out. That’s only a small part of your life. What about your emotions, spiritual life, family, friends, career, hobbies? Are they growing as your body does? Become a complete person and not an in-shape and great-looking version of an incomplete person. There’s way more to life than just working out. Go with the flow and embrace changes in all areas of your life. The change will do you good."
Robert Wolff, PH.D. Bodybuilding 101
"To strengthen the mind you must harden the muscles."
"Now -- here is my secret:
I tell it to you with an openness of heart I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God - that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem capable of giving; to help me to be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond able to love."
Douglas Coupland - Life After God
"May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect. Deliver me, Tyler, from being perfect and complete."
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, (As the world sees these things.)
"You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet."
Fight Club - The Movie
"Either Get busy living or get busy dieing!"
Andy - The Shawshank Redemption
"What am I living for? What am I dieing for?"
"All men die, not all men really live!"
William Wallace - Braveheart
"There is no normal life, just life so get busy living it!"
Some of this post comes from New Years Resolutions 2006. I also wrote to essays on this topic in university the first The Journey of a Quester! - An Essay / Spiritual Biography and the second Mad Celtic Warrior, Poet and Priest! - An Essay. Yet even after all of that the question remains, of "Who am I?"
(As an addendum Jeff Vehige has a great post on Rule of Life - Some Examples, that is really worth checking out.)
Other Articles Examining Who I Am:
Mad Celtic Warrior, Poet and Priest! - An Essay - 2003
The Journey of a Quester! - An Essay / Spiritual Biography 2004
New Year's 2006
Who Am I? Who Am I? -2008
Confessions of a Bibliophile #5 - How I Became a Bibliophile, From Dyslexic to Addict - 2009
New Year's Goals 2010
Steven R. McEvoy Interview - 2012
2014 My Goals
Who I Am - 2014