November 24, 2020•224 words
I think that there are at least two pretty important aspects of understanding identity. Two ways of interpreting it; of building it.
First, there's the projected identity. This is what other people think about us, who we are in their view. But it's also how we think about ourselves, based on external factors; our environment, where we grew up, what we do for a living. These are all parts of one's identity that they didn't really choose. Or at least they did, but in a minor way. The color of our skin, the way we look, our family, our nationality. You know the drill.
Then there's the second aspect: crafted identity. These are the traits that a person builds, consciously. Crafting takes time, and it's not always possible. But these crafted traits matter most. I'm not discarding all of the projected ones; they're also valuable. The crafted ones are simply more durable, deep. If developed fully, or to a certain level, of course.
It took me time to analyze and understand what parts of my identity are projected, and which ones are crafted. I soon realized how many of the crafted ones are in the "self-defense" category; mentally, physically. There are also a few quite good ones, pretty happy I have them already.
Ask, examine, understand. See what's lacking, see what's blocking. Work.