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A Sample Chapter of The Fork Model by Rudy Vandamme

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Being aware is a value in itself. Without it, you cannot foster spiritual development:

what you do is not as important as how you do it.

3. Identity: using your selfhood as your touchstone

Literally, identity means that which stays identical to yourself during the course of your life. It is that which stays the same. Selfhood will create itself within your person through the interaction between your physical constitution and influences from the environment.

Identity can be described in words: ‘I am introverted, I am a go-getter, I am an optimist’. Nonetheless, the area where you really feel a difference between yourself and the environment is your experience of selfhood. This experience goes hand in hand with the way you define yourself in society. Your relationships define what is typical of you. You are a European citizen, you are an executive, you are from this or that social class, and so forth. Identity corresponds to the psychological and biological need to be an individual. You need to create a mental inner space to remain whole as a living being. You have to give yourself some room, or your personality is at risk of falling apart

In this new millennium, it becomes clear that this track is vitally important for meaningful development. The world is full of opportunities and temptations, leaving us with a great deal of real freedom to stop or start a wide range of activities. Such freedom of choice can make you feel restless. Being aware of your selfhood can serve as a compass on this ocean of freedom. It is your touchstone, your refer- ence point, your norm for making decisions.

You will notice your identity when you get the feeling that it is alright, or as it should be, in the way your life is going, in what you do, and in the way you feel. Development of identity is what creates your compass. You put together your own compass as you learn from experience: some of your behavior is good for you and works well for you. If something doesn’t fit you well, you gain more information to fine-tune your compass. A simple example is the way you travel. The more you travel, the more you will know what works for you. As you learn what works for you, your compass is getting better and better, allowing you to travel with more and more precision.

Do you have an inner compass on the path of your life?

There will be some point at which you notice that your old compass is no longer working. You have entered a stage in which you want new experiences. You rush into new activities that challenge your new profile. Your self-image and your experience are constantly engaged in this type of inter- action, going back and forth along the way. The main challenge for most people is to become aware of the selfhood of what they are in their lives.There is a lot of self-knowledge out there for you to collect.

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