Changing colors

Posted: 04/22/2010 in 1

I am re-tooling my blog, away from content that is destructive to my mind, and towards things that give me peace. Prior to this winter, I was a person who was lost. Not that I’m found, I am far from that. Being “Lost” in the sense that I had many lives running concurrently. A book I am reading had helped me identify my malady. “Visions of the Fathers”, by Abraham Twerski is an interesting read. On page 54 of that book, Twerski writes about a persons identity:

In order for a person to have a meaningful, constructive identity, it should be one which he gives to himself. If a person has no identity other than that given to him by others, he really has no identity at all. He must change like a chameleon, being one thing to his wife, another to his parents, another to his children, another to his employer, another to his friend, and yet another to a different friend.

As difficult as it sounds to pull off, it is quite easy with the proper training. For myself, it began in my teenage years. I was a much different person around my friends than mom and dad. Sounds normal right? Have a few drinks here, smoke a bit of weed there, soon I had a different life, but it was only 2 lives and I could manage that. There it starts, managing two lives is easy, and adding additional “tiers” takes a bit of adjustment, but doable. After all, friends from church need not know about your partying with your “other” friends, and the “other” friends probably do not know much about your church involvement.
That is a slippery slope of self-rationalization. Tack 15 years onto that teenager, and he may well have a whole handful of different lives. This makes for a total loss of identity, which when life gets to be this much work, it is no longer any fun. It’s just work. Shedding lives takes a ton of work, as it exposes one’s ugliness to friends and family, as well as co-workers, neighbors, and one’s self. Some people need to hit rock bottom I suppose, others need a change of scenery, in any event I believe to achieve this without pain and embarrassment is nearly impossible. Thus, it is important not to begin down that road in the first place. Not an easy task in today’s world. Being a “chameleon” is an easy way to quench one’s selfish desires, but like any addiction, even one additional life may doom a person to become a person they never thought they would become.

  1. Glad to see you are reading Visions of the Fathers by Twerski. If you decide to start blogging about the J-BOM books regularly, let me know.

    Derek Leman

    • Yes Derek, I plan on commenting regularly on book. I enjoy the book, and writing about it helps reinforce what I read. I’m not nearly as educated as you or many of the people I see you blogging with, which is a bit intimidating. None the less, I am going to use this space positively, for myself as much as anyone else! Mike

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