Just Who the Heck Do You Think You Are?

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Who am I?  I have no idea, which ain’t a bad thing I guess.  I was out hoboing around the other day and I had the thought, “frozen identity,” and I felt a pretty good jolt in my heart that contained some grief with it.  I immediately thought that I was clinging too close to my Hobo John identity and that it was time to try something new.


My only goal in life is to be born again in Christ. In other words, to let go of my will and my fear and dwell constantly in spirit. I think more Christians should contemplate this, instead of believing they are to live and die as sinners. We are all worthy of redemption.

Any way that no good devil’s advocate in my mind started thinking the opposite was true. That the frozen identity came from childhood, seeing yourself fitting in with everybody else; wife and kids, steady job, that kind of thing.

That doesn’t sound so bad, but I mean every thing I have tried since coming off the streets, has fallen apart. I started a small lawn business with my uncle’s truck, well when things started rolling right along, he needed his truck back. I wrote the news for a radio station for a while, but they lied about my pay and I got fired for arguing about it.

I was even let loose from a volunteer gig with the Special Olympics because I said something the boss lady did not appreciate. I am on the board of my church and the other board members are hunting for my head. Gee wiz, you know? As Johnny Carson said after his forth divorce: I am beginning to think I may be the problem.

Enough bitching I guess, as the optimistic folks, who grate on my nerves, like to say, “God has something better planned for you.” They look so calm and peaceful as they say it, but that sly grin kind of says; I am glad your life is miserable.

I am optimistic because of Christ and honestly, my belief in myself.  I still enjoy hoboing around, going through garbage bins looking for cans and anything interesting gives me time to think and work on my psyche. Here is what I was thinking about yesterday.

I came out of my familial and cultural patterns as a people pleaser especially with women and dudes tougher than me.

At 51, I am breaking that pattern.  People pleasing is a way to get some love and kindness flowing your way, a way to calm an emotionally distraught person, my mother for instance, and a way not to get beat up.

Well the people pleaser in me is dying and I feel more comfortable saying what is on my mind.

People pleasing has a shadow, I think, and it is cruelty. I developed a wicked tongue that would come out when the people pleasing wasn’t generating the outcome I was hoping for.

People pleasers get themselves in trouble saying yes to things they really don’t want to do. “Hey John, my rototiller broke want to come over and hand spade a half acre with me?” “Why sure Jim I will be right over,” and there goes your Saturday fishing trip.

Then when you get over to Jim’s you are so mad at him for ruining your Saturday, you “tease” him about how much weight he has put on and how slow he seems to be moving. In other words you are cruel to him the whole time. Of course Jim did not ruin your Saturday, you did, by not saying no.


I was manning up for a while there which is another way of being cruel,  regardless if I thought I could take the guy or not. I  got called a puss a lot as a kid because I gentle and rarely fought. I guess I was trying to prove to myself I wasn’t a puss. But I found staying peaceful and praying tends to lead to a better out come and believe it or not people who don’t feel bullied tend to trust you more.

To make a long story short. I am hoping that as the people pleasing in me dies, so does the cruelty. Are you out of your mind Jim? I am going fishing and I suggest you wait until you get your rototiller fixed before you tackle that garden. With your fat a** you will probably throw out your back. (Just kidding about that last part. It sounds kind of cruel.)

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Everyone on the whole planet loves each other, despite appearances, it may be what we are here to discover, who knows. But to come out of people pleasing means you must love yourself enough to stop trying to manipulate people into loving you and that is what people pleasing is, a manipulation.

The more you love yourself the more you allow God to love you. No better feeling than his joy which is also you joy, in your heart. Hobo John here; I love you with everything that I have. You need a friend? You have one in me no matter what you do for a living, even if it’s nothing. Why? Because you are a child of God, that is why and that is what I hope you tell yourself everyday.


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