Welcome to Tigersue's Jungle. Here you may find a Jungle of thoughts and idea's. You may never know what you will find!
Yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Identity Like a Diamond

Note I have excluded my surname in this post.

I received this comment on my Ladies Against Feminism post. I was particularly struck by this comment,

but was startled that it was signed, "Mrs. Chauncey" as though the woman has no identity aside from her marriage to Mr. Chauncey…. There are so many definitions of feminism, but to me it means women have their own identity and value aside from their relationship to men, children, fetuses, etc.”

It made me ponder what does identity mean, and how is it formed. In my musing over this, I came to realize that our identity is like the facets on my diamond, there are many cuts, to bring out the best light we have and perhaps even hidden inclusions that can hinder the true nature of the diamond from its best potential.

The first facet in my identity was given to me before I was born. Perhaps this could be likened to the raw diamond. Created from intelligence my spirit was given life and the ability to reason, think, and choose. My Father and Mother that created me surely gave me a name, and perhaps like my earthly parents, pet names, nicknames and other unique methods to identify my unique gifts, talents, and personality. I do not remember any of that life but the knowledge that I existed before and have loving Heavenly Parents has defined who I am from the time I was old enough to understand that “I Am a Child of God”.

The next cut came at another time I do not remember, but I have the band as a reminder of my birth. Perhaps even before my parents said my earthly name, there would have been name bands made, “Baby girl Bourne” to place on my wrist and ankle to keep me from being confused with other babies in the nursery. About the same time, my parents, to have through out my life, would have given me my name. With the love they bestowed on me, I have a respect and love for this name. It is the only given name I have in this life it is who I am.

There have been additions to the name as I have grown. My father gave me nicknames, some I love and some have been like those inclusions in the diamond that keep the light from going through completely. I have married and added a new surname to my life. My maiden name is my maiden name. I have a middle name. My mother insisted on her daughter having middle names because she never had one and felt slighted by that fact. I respect her for doing that. My Mother-in-law has said that her maiden name is her middle name, which is wonderful for her, but what about those ladies that never get the chance to be married? Their maiden name will always be their surname with no middle name to distinguish them from others with the same name. I love all my names, my given, middle, maiden, and my married surname. They are who I am. Even my nickname on this blog comes from nicknames I have been given.

I do not like casual letters addressed to me as Mrs. Michael ….., I have no problem with it for formal letters. I am a Mrs. I have no shame in that, if something comes for Mrs. …., it does not make me feel slighted in the least. It is part of who I am. I love being connected to my spouse. He is a part of me, and I would not be complete without him. He compliments who I am, and helps me keep a focus on who I am, when I would like to tear down the divine nature of my identity. When I worked in the NICU at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, twice I was identified by fathers as “oh you are Michael’s wife.” There was no shame in that identification. They knew my husband and it was a way for them to recognize that I was a friend taking care of their precious child.

Next to being a wife, I am a mother. I have four wonderful children and their entrance into my life has effected my belief in who I am. They have given me an added joy, an increased gratitude for life, and a wonderful sense of seeing the world in a completely new way. I have grieved for not being able to carry “fetuses” as jessawhy called them, and I have grieved with women that have lost those Babies! How can that not affect the knowledge of who I am and what I am to learn in this life. I cannot separate that from who I am anymore than I can the knowledge of my preearth life. I will from now on be Natasha, Collin, Kendra and Abbie’s mother.

I am a sister. I have 3 sisters and one brother. I adore them all and wish I could give them a small amount of the happiness that I have in my life. They all have experiences different from mine that shape who they are and how they feel about themselves. My relationship with them all effects the light shinning through my soul.

I hope I am a friend. What more can I say than the interactions with others outside my immediate family has influenced my attitudes in life. Some only enter for a moment a
nd others that have endured for years. They are facets that have helped me become a better person.

Other facets come from my gifts and talents. I have a yearbook notation that states “I was that smart girl”, I am a clarinetist, a good one many years ago, one of the best in the State. I play the piano, but I am mediocre at best. I love to read, and I love to learn. I love the gospel. I like my exploration in the blogging world. I want to be a force for good in this life. I want to grow, learn, and continue to shape the facets of my identity. As a woman, I need to have those abilities outside of my roles as daughter, wife and mother, but I cannot separate the two from who I am.

I also have faults that are deeply imbedded in my personality. I am quick to judge, temperamental, impatient, selfish and perhaps other traits not attractive to my creator. I am grateful for my relationship with the Saviour that can remove those inclusions to create that perfect diamond.

There is no way I can have a complete identity aside from my man, my children, and my family. I do not understand how other women manage to do that. Everything and everyone I encounter influences my identity. I have to learn to accept all of it, instead of trying to fight the process of creating a gem that is glorious and unique from any other.

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