I had the honor of doing my first group motivational talk about a month ago. It was both a culmination and a dawning in my quest for my true identity and passion. Culmination because it marked the end of a journey that began six months ago when I finally took the plunge from the known into the unknown, murky world of self-employment. A new dawn because I was now doing what I truly desired, what made me who I am, a true realization of my identity.
When I first asked myself who I truly was three years ago, my identity was mired in my titles, material possessions and relationships. Most of us will tend to define ourselves based on the people and things around us and not who we really are when everything is stripped away. I was no different and I found myself frustrated by the feeling of worthlessness despite having a pretty decent life. As I started to peel away the masks that I had hidden behind for decades, I slowly started to realize my true vision. Interestingly it was something that I had always spoken about as a small child – to be a teacher. To shape behavior. To influence. To transform lives through imparting knowledge.
For me, the greatest feeling is guiding someone in peeling away the layers and masks to rediscover what truly makes them tick. What makes them happy. The light inside of each of us which will not be extinguished easily though we go to great lengths to keep it suppressed and possibly, forgotten.
This past month my pastor in church has been dealing with a topic called Seasons of Life. It’s basically about the different seasons in our life – loneliness, loss, prosperity, sadness, sickness, happiness etc and how to deal with each season. What struck me most is how distinct each season is in our lives – from the feelings evoked in us to how we deal with each to even the people who surround us during each of those seasons.
When I look back at my life I can actually clearly see the diverse seasons I have been through so far – perhaps one day I shall write my memoirs and share my very colorful past. (That will be a best seller for sure!). Each season has challenged me, shaped me and basically formed the person that I am today. And while I can say that I am a product of my seasons, I am also not under the illusion that any of my personas in each of those seasons was permanent.
Interestingly though, while I was going through each of the seasons, there was a strong tendency to become comfortable and attached to my circumstances. For instance, during one of the lowest seasons of my life, I convinced myself that I would never be happy and that I was destined to be miserable, alone and a complete wreck. This of course led to the season lasting way longer that it probably would have if I had fought my way out instead of draping the misery blanket all around myself!
“Its never that serious!”
Eventually (thankfully) I did get out and transitioned into a totally different season with different experiences and blessings. In retrospect, that misery season turned out to be the greatest teacher of determination and tenacity in my life and has greatly influenced how I handle seasons to date.
I have learnt that nothing is permanent. Life is ever evolving and dynamic. Never get attached to your circumstances because sooner or later, they will change. Know when to let go of a season, do not hang on to it or live in denial. Do not isolate yourself – ask for support and surround yourself with positive, reliable people. Each season has its lessons – learn from the season and move on. Don’t compare your season with someone else’s! Yours and theirs are totally different. There is a divine purpose to each season – God allows you to go through each season.
Most importantly, never define yourself based on your season – your season is temporary; your identity is permanent.