Scott Hackman: A Story of Resiliency and a Recovering of Identity
My story of resiliency started at the bottom after recognizing a failure to live my life in a way that brought my true nature into the spaces of family, friendship and work.
I did not try to become who I am today. The health and wholeness I am experiencing and creating in life through my vocation is due to a process I started almost two years ago. Throughout this time I’ve tried to understand why I behaved in certain ways and why success and failure seemed to come into my life at extreme ends of the spectrum. Here is what I learned:
I am a sensitive person with a unique gift of connecting information, ideas and vision through rearticulating a shared desire of the future with leaders. I started applying my gift in the most sacred place of my being which are the relationships in my life. I confronted my fear of church and the religious history of my past that told me I was a sinful person and needed to be saved. I started going on spiritual retreats with my spouse and partner to find out what we really wanted from our marriage and why we were not living a life that was fulfilling. I confronted my failures and realized there was much to learn from their stories.
In that process I uncovered a deeper desire to support my spouse in her career and developed a non-traditional way of caring for my daughter. I started cooking tasty meals made from whole foods and specialty delights. I started reading books that inspired my creativity and imagination. I started connecting with people inside and outside of my local context who believed in me. I started listening to where movement was happening, and I got involved. I became a catalyst for collaborative efforts in my community for the common good of those outside of the centers of power.
I re-engaged in a degree program in leadership through an institution that allowed me to understand a historical narrative and design a path for a better future belief system. This led me to participate in a faith community connected with my family story. As I began to unpack my family systems, I came to understand that I was contributing to an anxiety in ways that no longer fit my emerging identity. This led me to confront fear with a new paradigm.
The story I had been telling for decades about being a failure was one that led me to an unhealthy actualization in my lowest point of life, at which I contemplated ending my life.
I imagine people who get to this low place in life and live to tell a story find a common bond around what emerges. My great emergence put me in a place of conflict- conflict with both my old and emerging identity. I was misdiagnosed with a mental disability at an early age, and this diagnosis led me on a journey of retelling a story of hope. Often I would give up and quit ventures, jobs and relationships because of the stories of failure I told myself. I would quit without a plan for my next step.
Through this process of becoming aware of my own trauma, I found healing. I attribute this power to a worldview where God is love and God is at work in creation, bringing about this love through the reconciling act of making right relationship with self and others.
Here is who helped me in this process:
- My spouse and a reconciled relationship lived on purpose
- Family of origin and a reconciled relationship with differentiation
- STAR Program at Eastern Mennonite University
- Eastern Mennonite Seminary Leadership Program
- Career/life mentoring through Customized Coaching
- Dozens of colleagues, and collaborators
And here are the results:
- I am wealthier, (in the holistic sense of the word) then I have ever been.
- I am completing a degree program in 2012
- I am a member of a local faith community at Salford Mennonite Church
- I serve networks collaboratively at a national level
- I am hired as a Consultant for my thought leadership
- I founded a marketing agency, MyOhai, in 2010 where I lead a team that engages clients on topics like branding, websites and communication management
Most importantly I let go of an identity that is no longer true so that a better story could emerge.
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