One of our most challenging discoveries is our very self. On the one hand, we learn who we are through our shared relationships with others. And, at the same time, we have a unique self that runs deeper than any of our social distinctions.
From the time we are born we’re loaded with layers of identities.
Perhaps it’s our family name or hometown pride, our family’s social status or our current occupation. Or maybe it includes our religious, political, or sexual preferences along with our racial and ethnic memberships.
Our list of social identities can go on and on – and each one important.
But no one distinction tells our full story. We have a deeper self that’s not reduced to any one role, hat, or label.
The human soul runs deep and there’s often much more to us than we’ve allowed ourselves to discover.
But this is the hard work.
It’s generally much easier to accept some combination of our various social identities than to discover our true self. But we can’t discover ourselves by simply denying our social affiliations either.
For instance, a Black man is more than just a Black man. And yet he remains a Black man. We miss who he is if all we see is his Blackness. And we also miss him if we deny his Blackness.
And the same is true with all our other social characteristics.
Discovering our true self will include but is not limited to our social memberships.
Without denying our social distinctions, who are we beyond the labels we’ve adopted in society?
In the end, we serve our life and relationships best by discovering and offering our deepest self.
To be sure, this is a lifelong journey. But we sell ourselves short when we settle for the mere convenience of fitting in socially.
Honor all your social affiliations. And remember there’s more to you than this.
Discover and live in the confidence, strength, and freedom of your deepest self.