Identify yourself by your desires?

Before you go any further in this post, think about this….which of your  longings/desires have the most shaping effect on your identity?

Most of us identify by birth order, by career, by gender, by education, by ethnicity, by geographical home or some other objective trait. But I want to suggest to you that we have a tendency to identify by what we long for. Someone who longs to be married may identify as a single-longing-for-marriage (NOTE: not every single feels this way!). Or, someone struggling with infertility may identify as infertile-longing-for-children. Or a former alcoholic may identify as an alcoholic to signal longing that he or she is very much fighting.

We are frustrated writers (desiring publication status), skeptics (longing for tangible truth but not quite believing in it), and more.

Imagine if you identified by a strong but seemingly unreachable desire. What impact would that have on your sense of self; your relationship with others–especially those who appear to get their heart’s desire?


Filed under Identity

6 responses to “Identify yourself by your desires?

  1. This is an excellent post. Our longings and desires shape our identities more than we realize. And, they affect our self-esteem and relationships. I’ve seen people whose unfulfilled longings have left them angry at others who did acheive their dreams. Wow, lot to think about here. This is great. Thank you!

  2. Scott Knapp

    I was taught an individual counseling model in grad school that involved walking with the client down a path of self-examination, looking initially at the emotions (E) experienced in connection to whatever brought them to counseling; then at the chosen or volitional behavior (V) they used in response to those emotions, then at the rational thoughts (R) that drove the behaviors, and finally at the personal longings (P) that under-gird the entire experience (EVRP was our helpful reminder).

    I think longings, particularly the unmet/unsatisfied ones, shape us the most and deepest. While some contemporary forms of therapy address only thinking, only behavior, or only changing the immediate environment so the emotions settle down…long term, the deepest desires of the heart must be examined, to move folks from being functional idolaters to powerful (though still limping) worshipers.

  3. brooke

    This post reminds me of a book I read a while ago..but have not forgotten its message, still challenges..
    “Desire is the source of our most noble aspirations and our deepest sorrows. The pleasure and the pain go together; indeed, they eminate from the same region of our hearts. We cannot live without the yearning, and yet the yearning sets us up for disappointment–sometimes devestating disappointment.”

    Allowing our hearts to desire..coupled with the will of God wouldnt we have a beautiful picture.
    “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”….huh…”but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life…” huh x2

  4. brooke

    the book…’The Journey of Desire’ by John Eldridge

  5. Scott Knapp

    John Eldredge rocks!

  6. Lou

    Paul Tripp, A Quest for More
    John Piper, Don’w Waste Your Life
    Jerry Briges, Trusting God
    Anything by Ed Welch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.