The Chaplain's Notebook

Who Am I Today?

Who am I? It is a seemingly simple, but genuinely complicated question. We should all ask ourselves this question at different stages of our lives. Is it possible to answer this question with a single word? I doubt it. But why is it such a complicated question to answer? Why am I not just a man or a woman, or a police officer or an Academy student? The reason it is difficult to define who we are with a single word is because of the many roles that men and women play throughout their lives. Our one life experiences different seasons. I remembered there is a saying, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose.”

In other words, there is an appropriate time for everything. It is essential for us to understand the seasons in our individual life and not to mistake them from one another. The word “season” means duration of time, and the word “time” here means a point in time. Because everything has a season, nothing on earth lasts forever. Thus, it would be helpful to reflect on the following questions from time to time:

  • What season of my life I am in right now?
  • Who am I today?
  • What role do I play?
  • Am I a young adult just out of school, a parent or a spouse?
  • Am I a grandparent already?
  • Am I all of the above and a deputy sheriff as well?

At work, you are a law enforcement officer, but your other identity outside of your job may be a spouse, parent, friend, etc.

In addition to defining who we are today, it is important to understand that as we are leaving a season of our life behind, and it is time to begin a new one. This is especially applicable for families. We cannot maintain the same lifestyle in our 20s as in our 30s, 40s or 50s; these are all different seasons and times of our lives. Just as you cannot be married and maintain a single lifestyle that is uncommitted, family requires change. Kids require even more changes. Sometimes we need to slow down and ask ourselves: Who am I today? What season am I living in? Time moves quickly, and we need to be wise and be mindful of our time. Time is not reversible.

It is important to understand the season of our life today. Otherwise, we will lose track of our time and our role, and ultimately damage our relationships, health, finances, etc. Quite often, people feel a longing for their past and hope for the best in their future, but miss the current season they are living in. Who am I today? Who am I today at home and at work? What is the purpose of the current season in my life? Do I clearly understand that purpose? Am I happy and full of life? Do I have the best relationships with those around me? If the answers you have for these questions are not what you think they should be, then it is a good time to slow down, redefine your roles in this time of your life and see what changes you can make. You cannot change your past, but you can make changes to who you are today.

How can I contact a chaplain? Chaplains are available at their unit of assignment, or by calling the Psychological Services Bureau at (213) 738-3500.