Who do “they” know you as?
Have you ever been out somewhere and heard your name and think, “No one knows me by that name here”? I, like most of you have many names. My kids from church call me, Ms.Hope. My old students call me Ms. Pamplin. My college students call me Dr. Hope. My family calls me Hopey. My colleagues call me Dr. Pamplin…Why do I ask about your name and who you are? I ask because it’s so easy to get caught up being who others expect you to be, you often loose you… the real you. But with so many names, who is the real you? Do you know? Do you code switch? Why? In a world emphasizing authenticity, it’s interesting that most really don’t want you to be authentic, the goal is for you to fit into the “box” they’ve created for you. By complying, you give in to wearing the mask.
Do you put a mask on so that people recognize you by your name? If you had a choice, what name/character do you prefer? At what point will you decide to be, who you’ve been called to be? Do you know? For many people that takes time and it’s not something that is not easy to uncover. And yes, it has to be uncovered… because we hide it so well. As children, young adults and sometimes even as significant others, we believe what people have said about us and even take on characteristics from unwarranted expectations; allowing our true authentic selves to be masked, covered and gradually erased to become what others except.
Many of you have read thus far and agree; you agree but have no clue where to begin to find you. Where do you start? I’m glad you asked! This post will not be the last on this matter, because when you’ve lost you… one read, one post, one therapy session is not enough! Finding you is a daily journey! Does your life, habits, goals, dreams reflect you or where they thrust upon you due to expectations of those who love you? Many times those expectations are not bad or evil…. they just aren’t your desires.
To begin journey of self exploration… write down who you are, list it. What makes you, you? On a list next to who you are, list who your loved ones expect you to be. Do they match? Are they identical? What does that tell you?