Second Chance to Live

Sharing Hope in the Face of Adversity — One Piece at a Time

The Power of Identification

Posted by Second Chance to Live on April 18, 2007

Through my process and in my experience I have discovered an undeniable truth. There is tremendous power in identification. Although living with brain injuries, invisible disabilities, other disabilities — or adversity in general — can leave you and I feeling alone and isolated, the good news is that we no longer have to remain alone or isolated. We can reach out to one another. We can find comfort, courage and hope through the power of identification.

By reaching out to and identifying with my fellows, I find the comfort, courage and hope to explore beyond my feelings of being alone and isolated. By reaching out and identifying with my fellows, I find the ability to move beyond my struggle to accept myself. By reaching out and identifying with my fellows, I find the ability to trust the process, a loving God and myself.

Several years ago I wrote an article to share what I have learned about the power of identification. Because I have experienced comfort, courage and hope — through the power of identification – I share very personal information in the articles that I write for Second Chance to Live. My motivation in sharing this information is that as you read my articles, you will no longer feel alone or isolated.

My hope is that as you read, listen to or watch articles from Second Chance to Live. you will experience the power of identification. My hope is that you will be given the comfort, courage and hope to explore beyond your feelings of being of alone and isolated. My hope is that as you read, listen to / watch articles from Second Chance to Live, you will be able to move beyond your struggle to accept yourself.

The Power of Identification

Welcome back and I am so glad you decided to stop by and rest. You are a gift to me. I am fired up about a particular topic today. I have been fired up about this topic for most of my life. As a person with a disability, I never quite felt like I was enough or that I measured up. I never quite understood why I did not measure up until I began to understand the insidious nature of comparison. For too long, I measured my worth by the status quo. I allowed the measuring stick of other people to dictate how and what I thought about myself.

When I started treating myself with dignity and respect, I began having spiritual awakenings. One of these awakenings revealed that having a disability challenged the status quo. Although I sought to measure up to expectations, I found myself consistently falling short in my efforts. Living with my brain injury and my invisible disability left me clueless in my attempts to compensate for my real — yet unknown — deficits and limitations. In the process of my attempting to overcompensate I lost sight of who I was as a person. In the process, I became a human doing rather learning how to be in life.

Doing, instead of being became more important as I sought to prove my standing amongst the status quo. Even as I attempted to overcompensate through overachieving I had no idea how my brain injury and my invisible disability intrinsically impacted my world. What made matters worse was that I sought to defend the notion that my brain injury, invisible disability, deficits and limitations had nothing to do with my inability to meet expectations. In the course of defending my denial, I found that I was denying who I was as an individual.

In the course of maintaining and defending both my denial and the denial of family and friends, I grew weary in my attempts to prove that I was not an individual living with a brain injury, an invisible disability with real deficits and limitations. In my weariness, I reached a point in my life when I could no longer deny my reality. When I reached this place of despair — in which I could no longer deny my reality — I discovered a series of cause, effects and contrasts. I will share some of what I learned through examining those cause, effects and contrasts. This list is not exhaustive and can be expanded.

After you read my contrasts, get a pen and paper and determine what other contrasts you can add to my list. In the process of reading my cause, effects and contrasts and then developing your own list, you may find that you have been berating yourself for no good reason.

Identification as opposed to Comparison

Identification empowers, where as comparison minimizes contribution. Comparison asserts stipulation to inclusion. Comparison mandates that certain criteria be met. Comparison predicates acceptance. Comparison demands compliance. Comparison postulates performance. Comparison shuns that which is different. Identification encourages progress while comparison specifies and expects outcomes. Identification celebrates small successes, whereas comparison, by its nature seeks to invalidate. Identification encourages individuality and motivates self-expression. Identification cultivates creativity.

Individuality is not considered a threat. Status quo is dismissed. Identification empowers and motivates. Identification musters enthusiasm in the face of any discouragement. Identification breaks down the walls of isolation. Alienation is dismissed. Eccentricity is held in esteem. Self-respect, self-esteem, and self-worth no longer need to be qualified. Value and ability is accepted at face value. Identification seeks to reconcile. Identification promotes humility.

As I seek to identify with others I practice love and tolerance. Identification frees my humanity to explore apart from comparison’s dictates. Identification encourages individual expression. Identification encourages hope, where as comparison predicates performance. Identification encourages process. Identification promotes self-confidence. Progress is accepted as a function of seeking to accept both others and one self. As I love and accept myself, I am free to create with my being.

My being and worth is not tied to a specific “toy” or outcome. I no longer need to keep up with the Jones. I no longer need to chase after external validation. Identifying with others dispels my need to judge. Identification gives me permission to take risks and to scrape my knees in the process. Identification promotes excellence, not perfection. Identification frees me to stay in the moment and to live life on life’s terms. Identification promotes unity.

I am interested to know what other contrasts you may have discovered. If you have any, please share them with me.

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

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7 Responses to “The Power of Identification”

  1. Sherri said

    “as I sought to compare myself, I denied my humanity.”

    This has also been true for me, an uninjured, “normal” person. Though our situations seem different on the surface, we may actually be on the same journey. A lot of people would benefit from your wisdom.

  2. Judy Reid said

    Right on! I never thought of it before but you are so right. This is where we actually begin to appreciate and enjoy the “essence” of each individual person – even their flaws because that is what truly makes them unique.

  3. Rosa said

    I love your writings I am a case worker for tbi Patients and I really appreciate your site. Sending you alot of love.

  4. Hi Rosa,
    Thank you for your words of encouragement. You are a blessing to me my friend. I have 199 published articles on Second Chance to Live presently. You can find a list of them in my Site Map Rosa. I am going to write my 200th article in the next several days. Although not all of my titles have Traumatic Brain Injury or Disability in their titles I share principles to encourage, motivate and empower throughout all of my articles.

    In the event that you know of groups or organizations that would benefit from my experience, strength and hope I am available for speaking engagements. Please have them contact me via a comment or email Rosa.

    Thank you again for your kindness. God bless you.

    Have a simply amazing day my friend.

    Craig

  5. Dawn said

    I discovered 2 years ago that I had a brain haemorrhage when I was 9 yrs old. i lost all my co-ordination, balance and had slurred speach. This had previously been explained to me as the result of a virus, but recently while on a self-defence course I passed out through fear and then over the next few weeks had massive flashbacks which revealed I had been attacked and raped as a child. I have no memory of this whatsoever, and feel extremely confused, and my family deny that anything happened to me, just that I somehow banged my head. I have just come out of a nasty relationship that triggered some stuff off within me. Now I suffer post-traumatic symtoms, although have been partly desensitised by my classes. i have no-one to talk to about this, and feel alone. I’m training to be a psychologist – the irony!

  6. Ken Collins said

    We have to know who we are before we can decide where we are going. Great discovery Craig!

    • Hi Ken,
      I completely agree with you Ken. Thank you for reaching out to me. Thank you also for calling. I enjoyed speaking with you Sir.

      I like quotes and there are several that are among my favorites. Here they are:

      “If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to life the life that you have imagined…you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

      “Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous half-possession…do that which is assigned to you, and you can not hope too much or dare too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Have a simply phenomenal day and God bless both you and your family Ken.

      Craig

      Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
      Second Chance to Live
      http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/

      Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up!

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