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. 


Comments

Melissa said…
Hi Pastor Kevin;

I'm confused by your text "what if you are defined more by your destiny than by your past? What if your future affects you more than your history?"

What if our actions in the present define our destiny - and our actions are, in turn, impacted by our traits that we have learned from our past.

No matter how much we pull away - what we have learned from the past affects that process. I don't think its the change from allowing our future affect us as opposed to being caught up in the past that causes the great moment of 'ah ha' in our lives but more so the process of trying to change our traits that have been learned as a result of our personal histories so that we can pursue a future (aka destiny) with a sort of
'clean slate'.

This process in of itself can be tormenting to the individual who faces it.
Kevin Rogers said…
You're right in noting that our present actions affect our future, just as the past affects our present.

To bring in the perspective of one's destiny, a vision of the future can bring more potential for change than being limited to our past.

Really, it's both past and future that inform our present.

Thanks for adding your thoughts.