The Monday before Thanksgiving we had “Friendsgiving” dinner with our closest California friends. There were tons of jokes and laughter and we shared what we were thankful for. In my case, it was the growth born out of struggle. In 2015, I faced incredible challenges. The kind that led to tears, fears, and questioning. This past year I questioned my ability, my sanity, and my purpose.
I’m the girl that always thinks she knows what is and what’s next. But the spiritual fealty walk to California, a leap of faith without a parachute, was not without its challenges.
I’ve been on this journey to relinquish the idols that have defined and affirmed my self-worth for most of my adult life. Learning how to walk in my purpose and passion without career and success idolatry has been the hardest expedition of my life thus far. What was the point without aiming for the most covetous career and the sexist success? For a while there and for the first time ever, I found myself wandering aimlessly. I didn’t realize how empty my understanding of drive and purpose were.
To start, I had two understand two things better, idolism and identity:
Idolism (noun): false appearance; false belief
Synonyms: confusion, deception, delusion, fantasy, hallucination, image, misconception, myth, pipe dream
I had to come to understand AND accept that the ideas that were fueling my drive were ignus fatus; make-believe. I was building an empire on delusion. I was fueling my purpose with faux food and wondering why I was malnourished.
Identity (noun): person’s individuality
Synonyms: character, existence, integrity, distinctiveness, uniqueness
I had to come to discovery and understand my truest identity. I had to peel back the layers to the core of who I am and what I believe. I had to fully absorb that jobs come and go, titles change, and my perceived path may shift. I had to peel back the layers and shine a light on the dark places and figure out who I am and what drives me. Am I driven by faith, positivity and true self worth? Or am I driven by fear and inadequacy?
I started to define the traits and behaviors I abhor and strive for, I then benchmarked them against my current life-walk. Defining your idols and defining your true identity is an integral first step in growth and progress. At the end, I realized my identity was linked to my culture, my faith, and my understanding of grace.