My Posts - and Other People

Patrick's friend Colin (who I did not even know had seen my blog!) wrote an interesting piece inspired by it about identity, self-esteem and self-compassion.

Which is exactly why I started this blog, to be able to have discussions online about topics in a larger way that social media can often allow (well, and to provide my dad with updates and kid pictures, but that purpose is defunct).

I'm pleased and honored. I found Colin's post very reflective and thought-provoking.

Still, I would challenge him (and you, dear reader) to take it even one step farther.

Colin writes about how identity leads to self-esteem and then hopefully to self-compassion, in a kind of individual hero's/heroine's (what's the they version?) journey. And in many ways he's very right:

This final aspect is interesting as it relates to one's authenticity and being "your true self" - this is what really interests me and is what links back to personal identity.
Our identities are a combination of personal (the self) and social (our roles) but the two are distinct.
In her post, Bethany says "I seem to be losing all the pieces of what has made me me over the years" but this is very much the social identity, the what rather than the who. And that's what I want to separate: the role itself from what it means to you as a person and what it allows you to be.
But what I would also posit is that — well at least in my case and I would bet in yours — the your identity is also very much an expression of your personal values. As an example, my values of believing in the public good, and in deeply loving my hometown of Saint Paul, made me a very adamant Saint Paul Public Schools elementary school parent. And I've had some worries about losing that in sending my daughter to SPA, as much of a Saint Paul institution as that school is. So, to build on Colin's thoughts, how do you build self-compassion while ensuring your identity reflects your values?

Thanks, Colin, for the opportunity to virtually dialogue on this. You've given me a lot to think of — which is why the internet, with all its faults and foibles, is a wonderful place.


(In another blog story, my friend Leenah came across my post on Billy Bragg last night when she was at his concert in Cambridge MA and looking online to see if any local friends were there. And she was thus inspired to buy and send me swag from the concert!)


bethanyg said…
And another response:
Colin Walker said…
A little clarification:

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