Everyone needs an identity. It is something we search for from the day we are born. And all through life we have opportunities to change our identity. We are born and our identity is related to our mother. As we grow we begin to relate with our father. Then somewhere around two we begin to separate our identity from those around us. We begin to look for our own identity.
Many people try to create their identity. They adapt and mold themselves to be more acceptable to those they want to relate to, or those they think are cool. All of us have had this struggle throughout our school years. We find ourselves accepted by many of those around us, or not accepted by them, because of the way we act and dress. And that changes as we try to make ourselves acceptable. We all know someone who can change who they are depending on who they are with. There is no sense of security build inside that allows them to simply be, and let the cards fall where they may.
The struggle to be accepted, and the struggle for identity can often seem to be in opposition to each other. If I am the way I want, they won’t accept me. But if they accept me I won’t be the way I want. Peer pressure is a powerful influence in our lives. It causes most of us to live with masks that we change and wear depending on our situations. Unfortunately this means that we don’t ever become who we were meant to be. Our identity isn’t something we can create to fit our situations, or to fit our goals. David Benner wrote “Identity is never simply a creation. It is always a discovery. True identity is always a gift of God.”
Identity is something we were born with. Our passions, desires, goals and dreams arise from our identity. And we discover and grow in our identity as we find acceptance for who we are, and for who we are becoming. Without acceptance we fit the mold we are given. Without acceptance we and our world miss out on who we are. Finding those people who can accept us simply because we are is extremely valuable and necessary. They can be hard to find, but they are out there. Don’t let people fit you into their mold for you. There is someone extremely valuable inside that is worth becoming if you will look for them.