I feel like a greater portion of our lives is spent either searching for or living closely attached to an identity. For some, it is their family. Others, it may be their religion. It could even be a person’s job, career, or hobby. The separation of identity is what creates stress in an individual’s lifestyle.
Family is the identity I have been living; giving me a sense of togetherness. No matter the distance we always remain the same towards each other as we have for years. It gives a comfortable feeling of acceptance and allows you to let your guard down around them. Identity gives you home in any particular sense. For me, this sense is togetherness, and it’s something I feel we all share.
Reaching outside of our identity allows for us to lose touch on an aspect of who we truly are. This is what makes trying new things, or making the necessary changes, so challenging. We have built our entire lives up to this point on the feeling of identity. Whether or not a behavior is deemed good or bad is not of much relevance because at some point it became acceptable.
Going through a drive-thru for something quick, taking the hard job with strenuous hours, or having a lazy TV weekend are all circumstances that, before they were deemed bad habits, were understood and accepted. All things that are happening inside of your identity became so because you at some point felt good about it.
You as a reader may know me simply as the guy who writes in the paper, or to a client of mine, they may know me as their personal trainer. But these are not from the standpoint on the understanding I have of my identity. Rather, from your own or their own perspectives. I would lose touch and sense with myself if it ever becomes greater for me to live up to the identity of somebody else’s understanding of who I am. Yet this happens to us everyday!
This breaks the bond of togetherness that makes family so important to me and us. Now, I must say, it is in my wishes to share it with others outside of my ‘comfort’ zone, but to become a servant outside of my true self absolutely becomes draining.
I think that living in today’s age, and being surrounded by the gym atmosphere, has given me sight to the fact the we are generally striving for an ideal that seems freeing, but in reality is very limited and restricting. We keep saying that change is a process, and that it takes time, but I find this process to be a part of the ideal we are striving for. Somewhat of a traffic jam that is annoyingly stop-and-go.
Life is not a process at all; nor is change. It’s actually more of a flow that is steady, and when feels right, takes no time it all. Time will take you in. In this case, would it even matter how long your goals would take? Get back to what it means to be you. Be curious towards your own identity. What is it that brings you together?
Trey Tompkins is a local resident who writes fitness columns for the Record-Herald.
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