"Say what you mean and mean what you say!" Sound easy? While teenage girls across the country preen for a glance from the neatly coiffed boy band One Direction, I am thinking about the incongruence their message might be sending.
A young performer is schooled to convince every girl in the audience that the words he’s singing are directed at her. A boy convinces a girl of his love, while what he truly wants has nothing to do with love. These are two illustrations of the meanings between words, their intent and the mixed messages within them.
How many times have words been spoken to convey a sentiment, while the true intent was hidden beneath those words? Some call it performing, others call it lying or deception, no one would disagree that incongruence is at the core.
How does a child not get confused about the meaning of those words when her daddy says he loves her and then disappears? Express love one time and hit the next and the seedbed of incongruence begins.
Say what you mean and mean what you say! Sound easy? Not when constantly accommodating discrepancies, bending and weaving to find balance in the confusion of words. Its no wonder fractured identities are as common as a fly on toast in a world where lines are frequently blurred.
How does one find the direction to live congruently from ones true identity?
- Allow yourself to feel. Many people suppress pain and it comes out sideways most commonly in depression, or rage. Allow yourself to process your feelings, while suspending judgment.
- Acknowledge and validate your feelings as you hit upon painful incongruent behavior from others or yourself. Your pain is real. Give yourself permission to acknowledge the effects your experiences may have had on you.
- Choose forgiveness. Start with forgiving yourself for the ways that you may have been trapped in a confused pattern of identity. As a coach I can tell you this is common. Release and forgive others who may have acted from a lack of clarity around their identity too.
- Take back your power to move past victimization. Instead of living as a human barometer measuring other’s reactions toward you, learn to live authentically. Allowing other’s responses to affect ones happiness is the definition of co-dependency. It takes practice to gain clarity and align with ones core, so don't be too hard on yourself when discovering inconsistencies. Understand that as an adult you are free to choose what feels right to you and what environments feel safe.
- Understand that you deserve love even if others have failed at loving you. Begin by loving yourself. Be rooted in the fact that your Creator unequivocally loves you. What better commendation could you receive? Most misery stems from feeling unloved. Determine not to let others actions define your identity, but receive the love that already exists for you.
- Define what is true to you. Get intimately acquainted with the things that make you tick, the things you like and the things you don’t like. Invest in yourself. Develop your own opinions. Be aware when warning signals arise. This is your intuition at work. Pay attention. Check in with your gut. Learn to discern the difference between old fears triggering a reaction or your intuition signaling important information.
The point is to live from the freedom you have to let your true colors come shining through. That’s what makes you special and that’s what makes you, you!