Holding Onto Identity

It’s what defines us… who we are, what we stand for, our past and our future. We hold on to values, culture, language, religion, morals, family, ethics…. we hold on to identity. We all struggle in varying degrees with our sense of identity, some more than others. We strive to keep the norms, hand down the dress, memorize the songs, pass on the recipes, learn the customs but most importantly teach our children their roots and the roots of their ancestors.

We pass on to them the foundations that they can pass on to the next generation in the hopes that they won’t be lost. We hold on to thoughts so that when they are lost in the sea of discovery, self-actualization and development they will see the light radiating from the lighthouse illuminating the direction to their identity. 

We give them tools to guide them, faith to protect them, and love to support them in their search for identity. However, we must understand that it will be their search, their desire, their mistakes and their achievements. As we cling to our own discovered sense of identity, when the time comes, we must allow and give them the space to find their own.

Nehal El Guindy

Nehal is a Licensed Clinical Counselor in Maryland and a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University. Nehal currently has a private practice, LeVant Counseling, in Urbana, Maryland. She is a mother of a son and two daughters and enjoys hiking, reading, socializing and traveling.

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  • suma

    AA Nehal,

    JAK for the reminder..something parents should not forget…”it will be their search, their desire, their mistakes and their achievements.”

  • suma

    AA Nehal,

    JAK for the reminder..something parents should not forget…”it will be their search, their desire, their mistakes and their achievements.”

  • Marwa

    Thanks Nehal for the mom’s perspective on this. I still remember my teenage years and how much resistance I gave my parents so I can be my own person. It’s a fine balance of providing them with all the proper tools and then letting go.

  • Marwa

    Thanks Nehal for the mom’s perspective on this. I still remember my teenage years and how much resistance I gave my parents so I can be my own person. It’s a fine balance of providing them with all the proper tools and then letting go.


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