“Who am I?”... The question we all have come to ask ourselves once or... a couple thousand times throughout our lifetime. This question can be one of those uncomfortable questions to reflect upon at times, especially when we are being faced with hard truths and realities. But at the same time, it is a very necessary question to ask ourselves no matter what type of season we are in- a ‘down’ season or an ‘up’ season.
I think some people might find it a bit easier to identify themselves while for others, it may be a rigorous journey to true self-discovery. This can be because of multiple factors including low self esteem, having gone through trauma, abuse, struggles with mental illness, etc. Regardless, it is crucial to know who you are in this world because if you don’t you may find yourself always feeling stuck by the influences in which seem to control you, confused and conflicted as to who you want to be versus who you actually are, and last, you most likely will be walked on if you haven’t been already. Please trust me when I say this, you deserve to freely be YOU and you deserve to be loved for YOU as well.
When you ask yourself who you are, do you ever stop to really think about it? If not, I definitely encourage you to do so only because the more you reflect, the more aware of yourself you will be. The more aware of yourself that you are, the deeper you can dig within.
Typically when I ponder this question, I ask myself things like this:
-Are you warm hearted and friendly or are you distant and cold?
-Are you selfless or selfish?
-Are you happy and content or are you ungrateful and bitter?
-Are you passionate or dispirited?
-Do you feel accomplished or are you lacking the feeling of accomplishment?
-Are you confident or are you insecure?
-Do you live in faith or do you live in fear?
-Do you make responsible decisions or do you struggle with impulsivity?
-Are you happy with yourself and your life or are you longing for a change?
For the longest time I had no idea who I was. I couldn’t even tell you that I asked myself who I was at the moment because well, for one, I felt an immense amount of pressure to conform to who I was told to be growing up. So, I guess you could say I was told to be this person that I later in life found that I wasn’t at all... two, I never valued myself enough to figure it out until I finally wanted to know who I truly was.
Key words to remember here: You have to want to figure out who you are. This I believe is step one to the search of your identity. You can’t please everyone and be totally you at the same time. You have to sacrifice one for the other. If you really want to know who you are, then you won’t be able to please everyone like you may be used to doing. You are going to have to find your own passions, interests, crowd, habits, values, and beliefs and stop doing what everyone else is doing or wants you to be doing. I don’t know one person who said breaking free from societal norms was a comfortable process, because well, it’s not. Seriously, think about how many people over the course of your life have influenced you…However, discovering your authentic self is freeing and absolutely game changing.
I am 24 years old. When I was 23, I finally wanted to explore myself healthily. Like I said, as a child growing up I was told to be something I wasn’t. When I was freed from the control and pressure that was placed on me, I wanted to do what my peers were doing and that included exploring myself through unhealthy behaviors- drinking, drugging, promiscuity and unlawful behavior… wellp, guess what… I never found myself through partaking in any of these things and don’t believe that I ever will. I did however find myself becoming more and more discouraged and miserable + realized what I no longer wanted to be! Now, I am a year into legitimately exploring myself, figuring out who I am… figuring out the things I enjoy, the things I want to accomplish and do, the person I want to be, the people I want to surround myself with, and digging deep into my soul to find more meaning to myself and life through Christ.
So, clearly you can see through my short little story regarding my journey to self-discovery that it is not an overnight thing. I am still trying to figure out who I am and I believe my idea of who I am right now will evolve and change through many more seasons to come.
We all struggle to find our identity especially when the world and the enemy tell you to be a certain way or shames you for not being a certain way. The good news is we no longer have to stay trapped in the cycle. Today we can choose to be ourselves fearlessly and unapologetically. Some people will not like you anymore, they will judge you, shame you, or even throw dirt on your name for what you are becoming… I say this, let the detox begin! You don’t need those people in your circle anyways- you will attract all the right things and people by just being YOU.
What is preventing you from totally being yourself?