BEYOND THE IDENTITY CRISIS
“You are just like your father.”
“That sounds like something your mother would say.”
Are there stronger words to tie your present behavior to your past history? Often on the counselor’s couch troubled souls have looked back into childhood to uncover how present behaviors and attitudes were formed. Why do we often look into childhood to explain our current difficulties?
Eric Erikson was a noted psychologist known for his theory on social development in human beings. He believed that we pass through nine stages of life from birth to death. To develop and mature normally we must complete the challenges of a stage before we enter the next.
Erikson coined the phrase ‘identity crisis’. It is defined as ‘distress and disorientation resulting from conflicting pressures and uncertainty about one’s self and one’s role in society.’ [i]
Before we spend the money on psychoanalysis, let’s consider a startling perspective; what if you are defined more by your destiny than by your past? What if your future affects you more than your history?
Your struggle to cope with yourself may be tied to embracing what you are becoming—more than what you are unbecoming.
This sounds surprisingly like the good news Jesus preached.