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ID_NTIFICATION


One of the businesses I run helps school coaches and club leaders raise money so they can take their team’s training, their team’s development, their team’s challenges and their team’s experiences to the next level. For our partnership to be successful, requires a commitment from all of those involved in the process. My job is to help foster that commitment in the Coach, the students/athletes and to a lesser degree, the donors. It’s a very simple and effective platform we offer and can be very successful if each person does their part. What I find though is no matter how simple it is designed to be, rarely do all of the people do their part even when they say they understand what their part is and are committed to carrying it out.

This baffles me.

It shouldn’t!

I remind myself on many occasions that I do not know the whole story. I know what I witness visually, what I hear and the tone of it and I know sometimes what I feel. There is so much more that I don’t know. I am not only referring to people I interact with, I am also referring to interactions with myself.

It is kind of weird to think about it but there is a whole industry that exists to help people understand themselves better. To get closer to knowing their whole story. When I am tempted to judge others, it helps me to look at life this way: If I don’t even know my whole story, It might be wise to proceed with caution as I interact with others whose whole story is even further removed from my knowing.

There are times when I wonder why I did this or said that or intuited such and such. I am me and I have been me for quite some time so shouldn’t I know the why of everything about me? Yet, I don’t. I surprise myself. I disappoint myself. I’ve learned to be gentler with myself but still at times I frustrate and even anger myself. I awe myself. I confuse myself. I doubt myself. I scare myself. I don’t fully understand myself. I wonder if there is something wrong with me and occasionally this frightens me. Even as I write this, I question if I am the only one who experiences life this way or is this the human condition?

I have decided once again to begin an exploration through writing. I am fascinated by the idea that I have lived with myself for as long as I’ve been alive and I am still discovering things about me. With that in mind, I also find it compelling to consider how we can live amongst each other and have so much in common at the fundamental level and yet we still find ways to hate and dismiss and be mad at and curse out and fight and hold in disdain and sabotage. How much of that is because there are parts of ourselves that we don’t recognize and those parts influence how we interact with ourselves and each other. Recognizing something has to do with identifying what it is. When I identify with something, I get it. Usually because I have a lived experience of it. When I don’t identify with someone or something, it is foreign to me, I don’t get them or it and this can be uncomfortable and sometimes scary but it can also be interesting and enlightening.

As I was deciding what to explore in this writing challenge the idea of identity kept surfacing. When I think of identity, it covers the entirety of who a person is. What they look like physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, intellectually, politically and on and on. What they like and don’t like, how they navigate the world, how they treat others, what they believe about themselves, what they believe their purpose is, etc. What about those things that they have yet to discover about themselves? Those things that influence them that they are unaware of.

Part of me thinks I should just stick to descriptions of what I am getting at here and part of me thinks I am really clever and I should think of a name for it. The clever me wins this time! For 21 days, I will be exploring IDONTification. How I see me and what I DON'T see. How I see you and what I DON'T see. How I see the world and what I DON'T see. Written as "ID_NTification", it reminds me that as much as I know, I still don't know the whole story about myself so there’s no way I can know the whole story about you and I should be careful how I fill in the blanks (get it?). It is also a reminder that even this not-knowing is something we all have in common, and when we identify with that, we can interact with grace. Every week day, for the next four weeks, I will write with that in mind and share it here.

I do not know where this writing journey will lead me, even as I wrote each of these words you are reading, my direction veered here and there and what I thought was unfolding morphed into something else. I will do my best to let the words come through me and be a proper steward of the story I am here to tell and I hope that anyone who reads it connects with that part of themselves that wants and needs to be known but remains unidentified.

I remain grateful!

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