Yesterday I was asked by my 10 year old daughter if my dream is to be a Psychologist. I answered that I can remember when I was 18, I told a complete stranger that I wanted to become a Shrink when I grow up. Well, I’m not there yet.

“Do you need to have a title for you to have permission to live the kind of life that you most want to live?”

My daughter quickly described how when she grows up, she wants to become an Archaeologist, Zoologist or Marine Biologist. I wondered if I will need to become a Money-Ologist to pay for all of the Ology that is going to happen in our house?

The conversation got me thinking about how we define ourselves? Does becoming some kind of “Ologist” define you as a person? Do you need to have a title for you to have permission to live the kind of life that you most want to live?

I was in a meeting a while ago where someone stated that they like working with staff who are regulated professionals (ie: Social Workers or Psychologists) because that defines what they do. I described how I am not a Psychologist (or any kind of Ologist right now) but that I consider myself to be Divergent. Puzzled looks were sent my way. [If you have not seen the movie, Divergent, read the books then see the movie. Are we in a simulation right now? Think about it]

How is it that a title defines who we are or how we will respond? Does a title really give certainty… or is it some way of understanding what a person should or should not do or think? I see this often where parents grapple for years with a child’s behaviors and emotions. The heart tearing struggle can seem unending. Parents may hope that getting a diagnosis will provide some clarity, some treatment that will (magically?) work. A diagnosis will provide no more clarity than a pair of glasses. All that glasses do is enable more detail to be seen. Where you look and how you perceive is still up to you. In the same way, a diagnosis provides more detail. The work still needs t be done. Change is hard.

What makes you, you? A role or title? A diagnosis? A denomination? Where you live or the size of your house or the number of screens that you have? How many friends you have on Facebook, tweets you have tweeted on Twitter? These are expressions and may be important, but you and I are much more.

My list of what makes a person unique does not include any Ologies… I have included a few ideas:
• Laughter
• Being creative
• Struggle
• Vulnerability
• Touch, connection and love
• Faith and a will to risk and grow
• Learning
• Cooking and making cinnamon buns
• BBQ’s and a beer once and a while
• Saskatchewan

What would you add to the list? Why don’t you post that? When we lose touch with what you or I value we lose too much. Sometimes as we grow we neglect ourselves because we think what we want is not important, accept an over-crowded life or allow other choices to take us away from what is important. You do not need an Ology to give you permission, what are you waiting for?

Keep it real.

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