Constructing Identity



This past week, I stumbled upon a striking quote that’s been echoing in my mind ever since:

“You must constantly rebuild your identity as an adult, the way it’s been put together it is wobbly, ephemeral, and fragile, it cloaks despair and, when you’re alone in front of the mirror, it tells you the lies you need to believe.”

From The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry

What a profoundly frightening thought!  The fact that we may not be as fearless and flawless as we present ourselves to be, that we have to purposefully bury these aspects of ourselves so deep that they become invisible to us, forces us to question who we really are.

We like to think of our identities as stable over time, but in reality we are molded by our circumstances and environments.  As our surroundings change, we change with them—but this can be either a conscious self-construction or a passive adjustment.

However, if our identities are truly defined by our choices about who to be, doesn’t that give us an amazing power?  If we rebuild ourselves as strong, confident agents of good—if we can believe those things about ourselves—our options are limitless.

As this year ends and the next begins, think about the person you want to be in the New Year.  Everyone has the power to change!

Art Credit: “Butterfly” by Geralt, used under Creative Commons 0 License

2 thoughts on “Constructing Identity

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