I am a child of God.
We hear this phrase so often, I think we become immune to what it can actually mean for our everyday lives. I would argue that the stronger the foundation of our identity is rooted in being a child of God, the stronger our self-worth becomes. The stronger our sense of self-worth becomes, the less insecure, defensive, and fearful we are.
We can be more confident, happy, and content human beings if we are willing to shed our less important identities and place our divine origins at the very forefront of our self-perception.
Let’s dig in by talking about self-schemas for a minute.
Wikipedia explains self-schemas in this way:
“A person may have a self-schema based on any aspect of himself or herself as a person, including physical characteristics, personality traits and interests, as long as they consider that aspect of their self important to their own self-definition.
“For example, someone will have an extroverted self-schema if they think of themselves as extroverted and also believe that their extroversion is central to who they are. Their self-schema for extroversion may include general self-categorizations (‘I am sociable.’), beliefs about how they would act in certain situations (‘At a party I would talk to lots of people’).”
We each have our own identities and self-schemas of who we are and who we would like to be known as. It has been my experience that the further my primary self-schema is from “child of God,” the more uncomfortable I become in my own skin—particularly when I place my self-worth on self-schemas that are impossible to keep up.
For instance, a few of the self-schemas I hold on to: I like to think of myself as a faithful member of the Church, a good mom, an understanding person, a successful blogger, and an all-around cool human being (oh, and obviously extremely humble; did I mention that?).
The problem with each of these things is I let myself down.
Every single day at least one of these identities is threatened, if not all of them, so the closer I cling to holding these schemas as important to my happiness, the less happy I become.
It’s important to me to be a good mom, but every day I get frustrated with my kids and give Netflix a turn at being Mom for a while. It’s important to me to be a faithful member of the Church, and yet I fall short of some commandment every single day. It’s important to me to be an understanding person, but every day I make some unfair judgment.
When I cling to these identities, I’m building my foundation of self-worth on sand. Sure, sometimes there are sandcastles, but they never seem to last. (And they never seem to be big or grand enough anyway.) It’s an unsustainable and unreliable foundation. And frankly, it’s exhausting.
Each of my self-schemas are barraged by threats daily.