My mother was adamant.
“You’ve started to wrap your whole identity up in, ‘I’m sick. I can’t do that.’ That’s not healthy!”
Her words shocked me: because they were true.
I was sick. There were many things I couldn’t do. But it had become my identity. It’s not as if I wasn’t actually ill. This week I had spent more time in bed than out, unable to convince my exhausted body to simply shower. It had been this way for years, and somewhere along the way, I had become, “the sick girl.”
Do Our Struggles Define Us?
Young people often identify with their struggles. “I’m depressed.” “My parents are divorced.” “I’m a failure at school/work/life.” And in their words you can hear, “This struggle is me,” or “I’ll never overcome it.”
Sometimes it materializes as a constant discussion of their struggles, or asking for advice but never implementing the counsel. Or it can surface in our mindset when we won’t ask for advice, because we know we can never get over this sin, that memory, those hurtful words. It can creep into our work, school, relationships, and spiritual walk.
If your struggles have infiltrated your understanding of who you are, then it’s time to step back and realize that your struggles are not you.
(Read the rest on The Rebelution.com! I was very excited to have my very first article submission anywhere accepted by this site for teens severals weeks ago. I hope it encourages you.)