Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Who are you? No seriously, tell me who you are? Often times when we are asked this question depending on the setting and environment, we will answer in an array of different ways. Some people give their name and title, others may dive into a deep explanation of their parents history and ethnic background, others may just simply say “I’m just me”.
During the school year I lead a young women's empowerment group where we spend time connecting, growing and reflecting on this idea of “Identity”. I prompted the girls by asking “ what is identity to you?” As they went around the circle many said identity is the way the world sees them, their ethnicity, their beliefs, principles they stand on etc. I noticed that no one said “ the way I see myself”, or “ the attributes that make me who I am”. Identity is not just the obvious things we as individuals observe, but identity dives into who we believe we are, our morals, principles, personality and the things that matter to us the most.
Our identity is not just the glamorous parts that we flaunt on social media to give the false illusion that we” have it all together”, or to show how “secure” we are. Our identity incompasses the glamour yes, but more importantly the pain, the hurt, the lessons, the story and our journey. As we journey and explore identity and purpose, you will find value in self- affirmations and self-acceptance two imperative practices to implement as you explore and find “self”.
-How do you identify/see yourself?
-What identities do others often place on you?
-What aspects of your identity do you often find challenging to share with others ?
-Do you believe you have gone through the path of self-acceptance pertaining to your identity? why/why not?
Lèja Reneè, MSW