“Who Am I?”

Oct 20, 2011 by

“Who Am I?”

In 1998, Jackie Chan starred in a comedy movie titled “Who am I?” Although I’m not a martial arts fan, I watched the movie and laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes sometimes. Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are:

Woman: “Everybody wants to know who you are.”
Chan: So do I.

In another scene Chan says, “You want to know who I am? I want to know who I am”.

Finally Chan is asked what he wants and he replies, “I want my life back.”

I didn’t realize it at the time – but I was connecting with the story because I too was searching for my identity as a woman, a Christian, a wife and so much more. It seems that just as Jackie Chan had wandered from place to place to find his identity, I too was wandering and trying to figure out who I am.

You see, for years, my mother had always compared me to other people. If I accomplished something, I didn’t do it as well as my best friend Barbara. Once while watching Christian tv, my mother watched the teen Evie singing and sighed, “I wish I had a Christian daughter like that.”

As I left home and got married, I still did not know who I was and had no idea how to develop an identity of just who I was. I compared myself to other women. If Godly women wore long dresses, then I would wear long dresses. If they read the Bible every day, then I would do it too.

I always found myself trying to imitate someone else – preferably someone who would be acceptable to others.

Before I ever saw Chan’s movie, I remember going out for dessert one night with my husband. We had been going through a very rough time in our marriage and were coming out the other side and he asked me, “What did you think marriage would be like?” When I shook my head in confusion, he asked me “Well, from what you saw on tv, what did you think marriage would be like?”

Aha – I could answer that question because I was used to comparing myself to others. I thought of all my favorite tv shows and the women I respected and replied, “I always wanted to be like Olivia Walton or Ma Ingalls because they were such good wives and mothers and never fought with their husbands or lost their tempers and kept a good house. Instead, I’m Lucille Ball from ‘I Love Lucy’ and I hate it.”

For years, I carried those words around with me as I continued to compare myself to others.

Its only been recently that I’ve become able to understand that I don’t have to compare myself to others. I don’t have to be like Person X, Y or Z.

God made me a unique individual with talents and gifts and interests that were personalized for me. He doesn’t ask me to measure up to someone else. He doesn’t tell me I have to knit or crochet or even garden because other women I respect do it. He simply asks me to do the things He lays on my heart – whether it is in regards to my homemaking – my friendships or even my marriage. By learning to accept who I am and my uniqueness, I have opened the door to having a healthier and happier life. My husband and I get along so much better now. I can respect my children and their individuality easier.

Jackie Chan’s story is different from mine. He had memories that helped him find out who he was. As he used the skills he’d hidden in his subconsciousness, he learned more about who he was. In some ways, I think he had it easier.

For me? I had to develop new memories because I had to write over the old memories of comparing myself with others. I had to tell myself the truth because I had never known it before.

I’m so happy that with God’s help, I have found myself. I am a unique woman married to a unique man and we have a unique marriage. We are truly God’s gift to each other.

If you have been compared to others all your life, I encourage you to go on a pilgrimage to “find yourself”. It is so freeing to finally accept who you are.

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