Chaos and Confusion; What’s Your Identity?
‘The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends and family. The third face you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.’ –origin unknown
We all have an identity. We each have defining characteristics that add up to form our very own unique persona. We each have a name, a gender, an age and a nationality. We each grew up in a specific time and place that will never be the same for anyone ever again, not exactly anyway. In this way we truly are unique. Our experiences are our own. Our perspective is irrefutably and absolutely unique. Our tastes and preferences, our interests and desires- our unique vantage points on all things are what comprises our ‘identity’.
Outside of ourselves the world turns and everyone and everything in it dances about. Who could ever dream to make any sense of it all. There are so many variables, so many unique lives, so many differences. Our containment within this singular point of reference, which we call perspective, compounds the issues. We seem incapable of grasping the full weight of anyones position but our own. How can world peace, and the understanding needed to attain and maintain it even be possible?
Every time we look outside of ourselves to find definition in life, to build an identity, we are overlooking the one thing that truly matters in doing so; ourselves. We forsake what is inside by looking to what is outside. When we do this we are unwittingly allowing the external expectations of this world dictate what we should or should not be; defining what we can or cannot be. Our mind begins to put parameters around who we ‘are’, and by setting these limits we are bound tightly. We compartmentalize ourselves into neat little packages labeled ‘man’ or ‘woman’, ‘American’ or ‘Immigrant’, ‘white’ or ‘black’.
These external points of reference that we look toward when we identify as individuals are forever changing. Cultures are forever assimilating due to their interactivity with ‘outsiders’. Our role in our family will change and transform over time. Our role in the world also morphs as we grow and gain the experience and wisdom needed to understand how things work. All things change, and that reference we used to define ourselves is lost. Our identity is an illusion if defined by a world that cannot remain constant. We must look within, to the unwavering heart that is common across all of humanity and in every individual.
We move about and our vantage point changes. We get to perceive it all from a new point in space and time. Our perspective shifts and our identity goes along with it. So what is our identity really? Can it be that there are no ‘outsiders’? Is much of what we based our identity on going to fade into oblivion as time unfolds? Or are we basing who we are on constants.
With everyone looking to each other to learn who they are- it’s no wonder we are all so confused. We are all driven by the same things. We all want to belong. We want to be useful to each other. We want to love and be loved. We want to succeed and thrive.
Instead of trying to learn who we are by observing the actions of others we should be coming to understand the emotional drives behind our own actions. Once you recognize and accept how you feel, and then accept that everyone else is driven in much the same way- from their own unique vantage point of course… the world becomes demystified.
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