How many beliefs have you carried around for so long without having an individual pertinent reason for that belief? Practices without principles is what I have come to call it.
Why do I call myself Christian? Why am I believer?
Medical Doctor, why not law?
Podcasting and blogging, why, who am i doing this for?
WhY aM i hErE? wHy Do i ExisT?
I don’t know if you’re in your twenties, thirties or fifties, I believe that you can still be prone to an Identity crisis.
I am nineteen, and I think I’m going through a quarter-life crisis.
One of my biggest inspirations asked me a question two months ago or so;
“Roberta, in all the beliefs you have a young adult today how many did you choose? You were indoctrinated into most of the things you know, you know almost your whole entire existence is not based or if so is based minimally on beliefs you have chosen with reasons that resonate with you.”
For some of you my readers, this may be the first time you have ever asked yourself this. This seemingly obvious question isn’t.
When I began this journey of questioning my beliefs, I was and still struggle with my identity. Defining what I am was much harder than I thought it would be. Long thought processes and research to stop this third party effect that many of us ride on and eventually understanding my emotions and how they have affected me, coming face to face with my bad traits and my past that I buried without working through. This is rather tedious as I ended up starting a long over due healing process for my inner child.
My friends tell me I take things “a tad too seriously” for a young adult, that I hold too much weight in words. They say that I am an over-analyst, that I care too much for the things that mean so little. “Lighten up! Just go with the flow.” I’ve heard this from my friends, family, and loved ones, time and again. I’ve heard people tell me how I overreact over the smallest of things, how I need to stop overthinking.
I was thinking lately about people who do not have the courage to be themselves, who try to pretend to be someone they’re not, who fake a laugh, who hide a tear, who stop their insecurities from being outspoken in any possible way and who do anything they could to feel accepted.
I was thinking that being oneself seems like a really hard deed these days. In a judgmental world as the one we live in, it’s hard for one to act spontaneously or share his mind without fearing the judgments that’ll be casted upon him. In a world like this, where we are afraid to be ourselves, how can we know ourselves at all!
I know some of you are afraid of thinking about your lives, don’t know if your doing anything that matters or if your career is what you wanted to do or what you were forced to do, even thinking about love and wondering how you can’t see it that someone might love you one day because you don’t know what’s so special about yourself that can make you loved. You don’t know who you are.
In this whole entire process, I have come to the conclusion of self actualisation is more important than self identification.
We really need to stop labeling ourselves.We don’t get to decide how we’ll be known. We don’t get to create our values merely by choosing to identify ourselves as creators of those values. Reality doesn’t care how we self-identify. Reality cares whether and how we self-actualize. They say St. Francis of Assisi once said “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” There’s a helpful truth here in the pursuit of any value.
Identity follows action, not vice versa.
Don’t self-identify as a liberal. Give up power over others. Don’t participate in domination. Work to build freedom for yourself and others. Tell the truth about power.
Don’t self-identify as anti-sexist. Respect women and men alike. Don’t participate in sexism. Tell the truth about people, instead of stories that help you control people of another gender.
Don’t self-identify as anti-war. Refuse to do violence yourself. Refuse to support the institutions that enable war. Help the victims of war. Tell the truth about war.
Don’t self-identify as a Christian. Be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. Emulate Jesus.
Don’t self-identify as rational and scientific. Use the scientific method in your empirical investigations. Refrain from using poor arguments and shoddy logic.
Your identity matters only insofar as it translates to action.
Without actualization, identities are just shallow sorting mechanisms. You’ll use them to place yourself onto teams of people who don’t know what they value but who are quite excited to let you know what they are.
Without actualization, identities shut down conversations and raise walls. Just try leading a conversation with “I’m a Feminist,” or “I’m men’s rights activist.” Self-identification is an attempt to shortcut through the work of communicating what you actually think about reality. Picking your identity becomes picking a team, and that means picking an enemy team to fight.
Without actualization, identities become tools of control. The people who will care about sorting you by identity are the people who would rule you by your self-identifications. These are the ideologues. They will reinforce your self-identifications. They will make you feel superior to others because of your self-identifications. They will not ask you to self-actualize your identifications in any real way. They will positively refuse to let you, in fact.
You cannot be ruled by means of self-actualization.
If you chose to self-actualize instead of self-identify, you are no longer trying to establish a relationship with a group or team. You are trying to establish a relationship with reality.
If you chose to self-actualize instead of self-identify, maybe you and the folks on the other side of the identity line would be too busy creating your values to really hate each other. Maybe you would find something in common in the process of self-actualizing your values. Maybe you could become friends despite your differences.
Reality doesn’t care how you self-identify. And let’s be honest, you don’t either. You want to be the things that you value, not merely bear their label.
Identity is weak. It will take care of itself. Focus on doing and being.