As a single, it's important for you to know who you are. Many influences are trying to tell you, but only you can cut to the truth.
You may think you already know. I hope you do. But by the time you read this article, you may need to revisit your concept of yourself.
This is one of those areas that's crucially important, yet we singles spend far too little time thinking about it. We go through life making decisions that might be very different if we had an accurate picture of ourselves.
We're each raised in a specific place, and although we may move around a lot, we identify strongly with the country in which we live. We think, "I'm an American," or "I'm an Indian," or "I'm a Canadian", etc. In a real sense that's true, but we are so much more than where we live.
We also may be middle class or low income or upper class. People who place themselves in such a category may think they can't go up. They think they're consigned to that space for the rest of their life. It can be a tough barrier to break.
People are more mobile now than ever. While the great majority of people stay in their native country all their life, opportunities may be greater in a different land. We can feel disloyal or guilty if we leave, or we can decide to contribute to a new home country and make ourselves a valuable part of it.
The constant flood of media messages, from TV and magazines to movies and the Internet, has convinced many singles that they're unworthy if they don't fit the ideal of tall, slim, and beautiful. Here's a bit of truth you won't find in many places:
Looks fade, so you better have something else going for you.
Some people spend thousands on Botox and plastic surgery, but you can only put so much spackle on a crumbling wall. Our body was not designed to last forever. Accept reality and age gracefully, and you'll be a more authentic person. Get desperately anxious about it and you'll become a bitter grouch.
As I've said elsewhere on this site, we should all try to look the best we can, but realize that even though people do judge you by your appearance, you can't get by on looks alone. Nobody likes a nasty person, no matter how stunning they look.
We've been conned into believing we can buy our way to happiness, but it's simply not true. It's a human phenomenon called gift lift, and it wears off fast.
It's that adrenaline rush you get when you buy something new. You think you're cool if you acquire the latest "must-have" item. You're special because you're one step ahead of everybody else.
In print here, it sounds like the stupidest thing you ever heard, but we've all fallen for it at one time or another. Some of us never wise up. We singles are especially susceptible, because we may have shaky self esteem. And after all, those ads and commercials are pretty convincing.
Eventually we realize that gift lift always wears off. Do you know where that fabulous outfit is you were so excited about 10 years ago? Do you even care?
If we are our possessions, are we that first car we owned, which is rusting in a junkyard now, or are we our current car, or the one ten years from now? If we can't afford to keep up with the fads, are we less than somebody else?
Who was it who said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” ?
Oh, yeah. It was Jesus of Nazareth.
Your money is not who you are, either. Money is vital in life, it buys necessities like food, clothing, and shelter, but having much money does not make you a more worthwhile person, and having little money does not make you a less worthwhile person.
People in countries outside the United States have the mistaken impression that everyone in the U.S. is rich. We're not. While even our low income and poor people may have more than folks in some countries, many people here are struggling to survive.
Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking being rich will solve all our problems. If that were true, we'd never see celebrities on drugs or alcohol or acting in a self-destructive way.
It's been said that rich people are some of the unhappiest people in the world. I don't know if that's true. I'm not rich. But I am relatively happy.
Don't get me wrong. It's not a sin to be rich. It's not evil to have a lot of money. The problem comes when you identify being rich with who you are.
For much of my life, I believed I needed a wife to "complete" me. Over the years, I have learned from married people that that idea is asking too much from a spouse.
It's grossly unfair to put that type of burden on another human being. Even the kindest, most generous spouse in the world cannot fulfill the deepest longings of our heart and soul.
When we expect that much from another and it doesn't happen, we can make the assumption that we married the wrong person. Instead of being compassionate and accepting, we can head for divorce.
The flip side of that truth is that none of us can be the perfect spouse and make someone else totally happy. It's unrealistic to believe we can be everything for our mate. When we fail, as we inevitably will, it leads to feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
In his book, The Sensation of Being Somebody, Maurice E. Wagner gives the formula for who you are:
God + me = A Whole Person
Let's look over the reasons why this is true:
The sooner you store this truth safely in your heart and mind, the clearer you will see life. You will appreciate the giantness and compassion of God more. As you encounter disappointments, you'll be comforted in knowing that God gives true meaning to your life, he and he alone.