Identification, explained from Family Posts

  • Identification, explained

Recently, I have been looking at identification in terms of perceiving someone or something in a specific and well-worn way.

For example, over many years, I had built up a view of my father, based on certain of his behaviours, and especially those that had triggered emotions of anger or irritation in me. I spent a lot of time with him towards the end of his life, and during this time, as I worked on these aspects, I found that things that I would have taken personally did not affect me any more. I detached from my view, and was able to see the motivation behind actions that had been pushing my buttons.

After my father died, many friends and relatives wrote to express their condolences, and shared a little about how they remembered him. Almost all of them said that they remembered him most for his playfulness. This struck me, as it was not part of my view. LOL! Instead, I regarded my father as being tough, determined, successful, ambitious, hardworking, untemperamental. In terms of this aspect of playfulness, I needed to recapitulate. Fortunately, I had the senders of these emails and letters to work with, and this gave me the opportunity to recapitulate occasions which had involved these people.

Through recapitulation I found many examples of my father’s playfulness from much earlier in his life. This process helped me with clarity on another dimension of my father, and the insights allowed me to break free from the picture I had held of him.