Sunday I listened to a message on "Identity". Defining who I am.
not wanting to jump ahead in my journey I wasn't sure if I wanted to even post this...
I never really gave it much thought as to WHO I am. WHAT I am yes. I've identified myself as a friendly- high spirited (not religiously spirited)- nature loving- hard working (most of the time)- daughter/sister/mommy/girlfriend/wife- preschool teacher/social worker- animal lover- protestor- chocolate lovin gal-Italian.
just to name a few
I thought those titles made me WHO I am. Not complaining.....I don't mind having a "title". I do not like being referred to by "her" or "she". I DO have a name thank you very much!
One department I struggled with was giving a title to a child or adult who was suffering from a diagnosed mental disability or substance abuse. Separating the disability or addiction was very hard while I worked with this population. Yet, this is what they suffered from. Some struggled their entire lives from these titles.
These people have a name- sadly the name is covered up by a tag printed in large bold letters "DRUG USER" or "I HAVE AD/HD". At times, this name is the only name we see on these people.
I've always tried very hard not to be a tag user. But there's that word *but* depending on my life situation- I would tag the person(s) who made my life a living hell. This was difficult in my work field as well, and here comes the "but" word again - I've always tried to see the person(s) suffering from their tagged title as a person. A person with a history. A person with a dark cloud over their shoulder that has never gone away. Recently I met someone - can't say where or who he is- but this person placed the exclamation point in my sentence. This person is covered from head to toe in tattoo's ......he's different....he's screams urban jungle. Yet deep inside this man was someone who obviously suffered....perhaps didn't have the background growing up as I had.....perhaps did not experience "love" until recently. It doesn't matter to me. I watch him every week grow....and as much as I still collect a pocket full of my own self doubts - he became an inspiration to me.
So.....enough titles and tags....enough of what someone looks like on the outside....it doesn't make them WHO they are. It no longer makes me WHO I am.