Identity, who we are & some tough love.
It is hard to write at all after this past years craziness, but from an honest genuine place, the subject I want to address is identity.
To be clear, it is my sincere belief that who we are as people has little to do with the current obsession of division by race, sex, and or national heritage, etc. and everything to do with who we are at the core as a human being.
Understandably, our insides may be influenced by our outsides, but not only can we choose how we live out our beliefs, we can choose how we treat people, what we say, and where we end up day to day.
Consider when we meet someone, we discuss our lives, not our skin color for instance. Our outward physical traits are not who we are. When getting to know someone, we don’t look for differences, we search for common ground.
So, then, a person’s true identity is revealed through both our words and actions over time. Our identity is revealed as we navigate the real world.
We tell people who we are with our actions.
First, upon meeting someone we might give some surface identity details such as our work life or job title, or our roles in life such as mother or father. However, we really get to know the people in our lives by their actions like how they raise and treat their families, what music they listen to or books they read. We know someone by how they spend time making a living, but also what they do outside of their work.
Our identity grows with our character. It is found in our character and foundational beliefs.
We reveal our true selves by our ability to overcome hurts, obstacles, and even our response to victory. How we treat people, how we act in a group.
Furthermore, we also show the world what we are made of when we encounter trouble or are given power.
Some people crumble at the first sign of trouble, but others rise and make their greatest marks on the world. Some take years to overcome. Others turn it around in a day.
I contend that we see someone’s true humanity or lack thereof in how they treat the elderly, children, and animals.
Even more telling, how someone treats someone they do not know will show who they really are deep down. To any humane person, those choices and actions are much more illuminating than someone’s outward appearance.
Additionally, our identity comes from our world view. Who do you think you are in this universe, and on this earth?
My own identity begins in what Jesus taught.
I believe that your life is valid, as is mine. We are all one people, each one unique and important. All of us have purpose and a life to live.
As a Christian, I have a road map. When I read scripture, I see how we are supposed to be, I see what we aspire to. No one is perfect and most including myself fall way short of who we could be, but the desire to be like Jesus is there.
We are commanded to love one another, to not steal, lie, cheat, or take a life. God’s words teach us what real love is and how it never fails and to treat everyone the same. My identity begins with what Jesus taught.
With this understanding of true identity between us, I want to put some truth out there.
Don’t let anyone tell you that an entire group of people (based on any outward trait) sees you in a certain way.
There is no truth in that. You cannot know someone’s heart based on their color, origin, age, or any other method of grouping. In fact, you cannot know anyone based on outward appearance only, especially traits that are not something we choose. I am a person who has faced much tragedy and weathered a lot or struggle and heartache. You would not know that seeing me on the street. Just as I cannot know who you are without actually knowing you.
Lately, I’ve witnessed a lot of anger from people I have never met. As a middle aged woman with a wonderful family, I was raised to see past the visual and not to judge someone based on appearance or circumstance. But, race relations are under assault by those who seek to divide us.
No matter how much you shout at me that I am racist based on the color of my skin, or that I am American, or middle aged, or any other factor will not make it so. I reject such a summary of my life without knowledge.
Additionally, anyone who tells you that everything negative in your life is someone else’s fault is trying to handicap you.
As a matter of fact, anyone who tells you that our society is a place that is impossible to break through and be a high achiever or insanely successful is a liar. Your success and your achievements are up to you and how you grow and respond, act and move forward or not. I think it is disrespectful to treat people as so fragile that their life is determined by someone else.
Reject the “no hope without destruction” mantra. A good foundation is built from the ground up. It is solid with deep roots of love, peace, joy, and every good and perfect gift. It isn’t angry, ugly, or destructive.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I pray that each one who reads this post has a positive identity or is ready to receive one, an identity rooted in something inspiring with a good foundation.
Barefoot and writing,
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You might also enjoy : Masks – “But, with a little search for the truth, we can see that there are those who want chaos and want us all frightened. Some ask, “Why?” Because in chaos and fear, laws that limit liberty can be passed.”