─ Questions About Identity
Excerpts from Questions About Identity, Enny Cole, 2017.
There comes a point in many people’s lives when they can no longer play the role they have chosen for themselves. When that happens, we are like actors finding that someone has changed the play. – Brian Moore.
What is identity? It is basically who you are, what you think about yourself, and the way the world sees you.
How do you see yourself? And, what is the most important part of your identity? sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class status, nationality, religious affiliation, age, your political beliefs? Is there one part of your identity that stands out from the rest? Perhaps these are all identity as a social evolving concept not necessarily determining the person you are supposed to be. Maybe identity can depend on who you’re with, what you’re involved in, where you are in your life but these things are also limited by changing growth. Perhaps we cannot truly define what defines us and some of us may be weak to accept what lies within us. For those who go through various situations and are shaped by such, can we say that they finally became who they are by such circumstances? “What ifs” poses a string of limitations to that question. What if that is truly who they are and such circumstances shine a path to exactly who they are? Or that is not who they are but issues beyond springs them into acting another life’s role play.
Also, the question of identity should be based on how experiences and worldviews play us on the journey across life. Every point of contact is a determining influence on one’s identity. This is what makes identity somewhat a subconscious changing focal point. What I am today is not necessarily what I am tomorrow and what I am tomorrow doesn’t tell what I had been in the past. James Baldwin may be right when he said, an identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.
This is why the question of identity is a moving question in itself. Going back to Brian Moore’s words, what am I, what are you and what is he? We find new things about ourselves each day but our dominant identity, one that says, I am who I am and what I do is this, remains the same when we finally find it. When we find ourselves on certain roles only to switch as we age or grow, then someone else has changed the script for us, some circumstance, some person, some life event, something. Your identity is a question of experience; one that determines who you truly are. Ultimately, we are left with recognising our identity or letting others define it for us
Would it be deeper reflection of who you are or a superficial knowledge of what tags you are associated with in society?
│ Finding True Identity
We may not be able to really define who we are by first not finding meaning to our lives.
How God sees you versus how you see yourself.
We are shaped by different experiences and worldviews and sometimes we form a certain perception that ultimately determines how we see ourselves. But we forget that this is different from how God envisions us to be. Rejecting and transforming a negative, limiting or external belief about yourself into a positive one of how God sees you, no matter where your experiences have taken you to, will help restore you back to who you are supposed to be.
True identity rests in the image of how God sees us and if we believe in this image, as written in his word, spread throughout different pages of the scripture, highlighted by jesus himself,
we would embrace our true image, be rest assured and not try to find our worth or identity in external influences. Some of my favorite verses would include being the light of the world and salt of the earth. You cannot be light and salt if you are hidden or your identity is lost to the world.
You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hidden… Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God, your father in heaven. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? Matt 5:13-14
This will enable us to rest in who we are, not succumbing to who the world wants to be.
Having an identity rooted in God’s image is a reflection of who you are supposed to be, you will not have to constantly change who you are to suit other people, places, things, or situations. You will be who you need to be.
True identity is rooted and hidden in the knowledge of God and our relationship with Christ. We discover more of our identity when we draw near to him.
Developing True Identity: Pay conscious attention to yourself, motives and actions, question, review, and take responsibility. This will help you build personal values that develop your person.
Set aside quiet time moments for meditation, prayer, studying the scriptures, that will help develop a gradual and working relationship with God. Working knowledge of God helps you develop a working relationship and knowing about yourself.
Start living the true working image that God envisions and says about you. You are in the unconditional love of God and that’s more than enough for you.