Circumvented Identity

Last week I posted something that I called Circumvent Identity Formation – check it here.  One of my friends read it, and it started a thread of emails processing through their identity formation and their process.  I wanted to share their response to the post.  I share it hoping that others would connect with it.  They were able to put into words what happened to them and process through their experience.

Here are some of the ideas:

“Ok so alot of what you said rings so true to me that it’s almost painful. And then there’s other stuff that still feels like a contradiction in some way — or maybe its not as much a contradiction as it is empty? Not sure how to explain that just yet.”

I then asked what was painful and the response was:

“so you asked me what was the painful stuff….
  • the freedom to express and create advances identity formation and growth and development.  rushing people through it by performing and faking it – retards formation and development.
  • earlier in life – you’re young enough and idealistic enough to bounce back quickly.
  • religion is impersonal and it’s about standardization – everyone looking the same.
  • cutting of the process at any point by superimposing your will on someone else kills growth and ultimately “kill” the person.
  • but you can create that environment for growth and learning by allowing them to create and construct a new identity.  you can do that for your kids.  you have done that for yourself.

that’s the stuff that rang so true to me that it hurts. maybe it’s painful because i’m only beginning to sort thru and find my way…maybe part of me hoped it wasn’t true and in reading it like that, any denial that was lingering was forced out…regardless of the pain tho, having it put into words feels like finally being able to take in a breath — relieving and empowering.”

Can you identify with my friend?  Can you see how your identity formation was short-circuited?  Blocked?  Circumvented?

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