Self-love before In-love
Part 2 of 5
Remember who you are.Mufasa
Ah yes, the famous words of Mufasa to Simba as he scolded him on how he had forgotten who he was… a king.
To continue on our journey of self-love before in-love, I want to touch on the second crisis I believe can derive from falling in love before we have sufficient self-love, the identity crisis.
In Simba’s case, he knew who he was he was just choosing to live outside of that reality due in great part to fear and pain.
I believe in our case, two things can lead to an identity crisis when we’re in love with someone before knowing ourselves. These two reasons are either that we’ve forgotten who we are (due to our environment) or we’ve never known who we are. Both can be scary in relationships as we may tend to attach our identity to who we are with our significant other rather than who we truly are.
In my case, my identity was tied to the title “wife” and how as a wife I wasn’t claimed accordingly (in my perspective of course). Although I was a wife before God, my family and my close friends, not holding that title on social media hurt me.
Did I hold other identities? Well sure, I was also a daughter, a sister, a friend, a graduate student, a therapist, a christian; but the identity that held most value to me at that moment was the identity I felt was my right but not fully, publicly given, “wife”.
Having that identity placed in that role and believing that my role was being kept hidden on social media created other subsequent identity issues within me. Was identifying with me an embarrassment? Was I simply not good enough? Had I, an enneagram 3 (forever needing to overachieve) failed at my role and the thing that defined me? Did that by default, make me a failure?
Guys let me tell you something, no one should have to battle with those thoughts day in and out. I know they look different for each person reading this today. Maybe the title you identify with is “provider” and you don’t know how you’re going to pay the mortgage this month. Maybe your title used to be “sunshine” but you’re finding very little to shine over these days and it makes you feel like you’ve failed your partner, your family.
The thing about identity is no one can define who or what you are except who and what you give power to. If I allow for my partner to dictate my identity, he will. If I allow for my past to tell me who I am, it will. If I allow God to tell me who I am, He can and He will.
What is it that God says about me and who I am?
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.1 Peter 2:9 NIV
YOU. Chosen, royal, holy (set apart), special.
That is your identity.
I know at times it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to fit the cookie cutter image your partner wants. All of a sudden we have new taste in music, new taste in art, we’re healthy or nerdy or whatever we think we need to be to identify as the ideal partner.
I want to challenge you to love yourself enough to remember who you are. Don’t change for every person that walks in and out of your door. Grow? Yes. Evolve? Yes. But may it all be under the identity of your chosen, royal, holy, special nature.