I’m curious…

by tylernielsen

It keeps coming up. That is..the idea of self-image and the notion of identity. Who we are and how the essence of who we are is shaped. I can’t help but be a bit frustrated. My frustration is this…when I ask others (the reverse is also true – when others ask me) to tell me about who they are, their responses (and mine) are most often fueled by talents they have, items they possess, roles they play, preferences they have, and areas in which they function. For example: I am a student (a role, something that is done). I am good at sports (talent possessed). My favorite food is chicken potpie. 

Do you see it? The projection of all of these things onto one’s identity. Don’t get me wrong, it’s sort of the point. Marketing teams everywhere are looking for ways their product or service can become so entangled in their customer’s identity that they “can’t live without it”. 

Much of who we are is certainly shaped by the things we do, the roles we fulfill, and the things that are present in our life. But these things certainly do not define us. My Bestefar (grandfather) would always tell me, “Tyler, this does not define you.” At different points in my life, I have let so many things define who I am – my weight, my heritage, my hobbies, the music I listen to, the types of movies I enjoy, even my favorite colors and foods. How silly does that sound? It may seem odd to you, but this notion bothers me. It tugs on my heart. The solid definitions we put on ourselves limits us. And the limiting of ourselves limits the One who created us. My aim is not to be a “hipster”or to “defy the odds” or anything of the sort. I’m just truly curious about who I am and who you are. One thing I know to be true – I am a child of God, redeemed. Who are you?