Just Live Podcast 39 - How do your experiences shape your IDENTITY?
by Dan & Suzie Potter
When we were young parents we travelled a lot with our young sons. Both Joshua and Josiah had passports before they turned 2 weeks old. As a family we experienced different people, different foods, different cultures, different time zones and different animals.
One of these animals happened to be a 50 pound male Baboon that jumped through our car window in South Africa. He quickly attacked the boys, but Dan and a few invisible angels fought the beast around the inside of the car and finally out the passenger door, before we took Dan to the hospital.
That was an experience in which our 3 month old quickly forgot, our 3 year old had nightmares about and that Dan’s dislocated shoulder gave him pain for the next 7 years.
Although this experience took place 30 years ago, it still lingers deep in our past, shows up today in our family stories, and perhaps it will be retold in the future when that baboon, car and we are long gone.
Your experiences are made up from events and situations that you encounter throughout your life. They can be positive or negative and can include everything from joyful moments with loved ones to challenging situations that test your resilience and dislocate your shoulder. Your experiences help shape your perspectives, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, they also play a critical role in shaping your identity.
The truth is your past, present, and future are all essential aspects of your life experiences, they interconnect and outer connect who you are and what you do. The past provides all of us with a foundation for our identity and shapes our experiences, while the present is where we all are currently living and experiencing life. The future which is created by your goals, aspirations and the surprises ahead connect you to who you will become and what you will leave behind.
Here’s the thing, your experiences are the billboard of your life, they identify you and inform all those around you, who you really are. Your identity, experiences, and the past, present, and future are all intertwined aspects of your life and they shape who you are and the goals you set for ourselves. By understanding these connections, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in the world.
So if you don’t want an experience to shape you, roll up the window, drive faster, and keep the beasts outside, but if you want to fill your life with some fresh air open your window and slow down a bit . . . and see what jumps into your life.
Take time everyday to write your experiences in a journal, tell them to a friend or just reflect upon their impact upon who you are.
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