What Is Your Identity?

Identity, in itself, is difficult to define—let alone ourselves as a persona. It seems that identity is what we and others say we are. In this case, identity is flexible and fluid. It can change at a moment’s notice, as who we are is a story we and others tell ourselves. Identity is not a solid, carved-into-stone statement. Moment to moment, our identities are shaping and reshaping themselves.

Yet, if I was to try to define my identity concretely within a worldly view, I would say I am primarily a person focused on creativity and spirituality. Every day, I write poetry, play percussion, and sing. I regularly submit my poetry to journals, and perform in concerts as a percussionist. I enjoy singing sometimes in concerts, but mostly I sing for my own enjoyment at home and while on walks. In terms of spirituality, I meditate each morning and night, and listen to spiritual music during the day. I also enjoy pondering about spiritual philosophies from Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and many other religions and traditions. I try to remain in a meditative state throughout the day.

I can get more mundane and say that I am a 33-year-old Caucasian male, American, who was born in Seattle, Washington, and currently live there. I have a wife, no children, and a pug. I work as a content coordinator and editor. My favorite food is either Mexican cuisine or Italian cuisine. I am both an introvert and extrovert. I took an IQ test and got a near-genius score. I have had five surgeries. I have won awards for my writing. I like to occasionally play chess, and was crazy about this game in high school. My personality is a mix of bubbliness and introspectiveness. There is so much to list off, but I do not know how interesting it would be for readers to trudge through.

Examining my identity, I realized that yes, I am this surface identity that anyone can fill out in a personality test. However, underneath this layer of identity, I believe there is a more universal identity. Through meditation, I have experienced moments and spans of time when all my thoughts, physical sensations, and emotions were so far away from being perceived directly that I felt detached from them. The discovery that my identity could simply be consciousness was startling. In addition to being surprised, I realized that this state is available for all of us—that pure consciousness could be our universal identity.

What does that mean for identity itself? Well, I believe we might fooling ourselves that we are, say, a 33-year-old Caucasian male from Seattle who writes poetry every day and loves taking walks with his pug. This is only a superficial layer of identity that is constantly adapting and changing according to the environment, circumstances, and happenings. The universal identity of pure consciousness is always the same, and can be said to be the most secure form of identity. Also, if we view people as pure consciousness, then it is difficult to have prejudice or ill will for them. This body and all of its components are only a container for this pure consciousness. Do not ask me how and why this pure consciousness is there, though. I do not have enough knowledge to answer this question properly.

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