Recently, I stumbled across a blogger who got me thinking about identity. I find that I am still learning to fully embrace myself, my culture and heritage, despite being in a world which condemns it for reasons too long to elaborate.
I sat here and really thought about it, who am I? Am I proud of who I am? You know, questions like that which a lot of people cannot honestly answer if asked. I believe that a lot of people struggle with their identity to a certain degree and I think a lot of it has to do with society. We let society tell us what we should look like, how we should speak, what is appropriate, accepted and what isn’t. A lot of celebrities seem to be falling into the same trap, I don’t want to call out any specific ones, but a lot of them are changing the way they look to make themselves more marketable, I guess, to certain parts of society, which is sad, but understandable.
Have you seen this?
You can’t run away from who you are, it would only keep following you like a shadow. Embracing every aspect of what makes us, us, is the most honest thing we can do. It is also the best way to start figuring out who we are as individuals, to enable us grow from there.
Growing up, I was always surrounded by derogatory, condemning views of my culture. Slowly those views began to fester and made me rethink where I was from. Made me rethink why I would want to be proud of being part of it etc etc. But then, in doing that, I ended up losing myself in trying to escape being associated with it. I wanted to escape it all. I started embracing western culture more, and this started shaping how I dressed, what I ate, where I travelled to, relationships. (This may seem little, but over time, the little add up to define who you become). Luckily, I had my ‘lightbulb moment’ before further ‘damage’ could be done.
As I grew older, I started accepting other aspects of my heritage as part of who I am. I refused to be classified or defined by it. We sometimes create mental barriers for ourselves when we let others classify us. We start thinking inside a box. I decided to take the negative and find positives. Instead of being defined by the things I wanted to distance myself from, I decided I wanted to be a part of those who help change that image to something to be proud of. I hope others can do the same with regard to those aspects of their identity they struggle with > help create an awareness about it and find positive ways to change it to something you can be proud to be a part of.
We don’t have to live in a confused state about who we are. We need to learn to accept and understand that there is beauty in being different, whether the difference be race, culture, deemed disabilities etc. If we embrace every aspect of ourselves we can start focusing on achieving our full potential.
We also need to expose ourselves to other things we know nothing or little about. In doing so we are that much closer in uniting the world and defeating ignorance, and all the injustices associated with it.
Whatever your struggles are, remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Don’t let society or the media define you! or make you redefine yourself! your scars are beautiful! your heritage is beautiful! your mistakes are beautiful!! stop living a life of shame!! embrace every aspect of yourself. fly my lovely budding catterpillars!! be the beautiful butterflies you were destined to become.