Mental & Emotional Corner: WHO ARE YOU?

Unless we base our sense of identity upon the truth of who we are, it is impossible to attain true happiness – Brenda Shoshanna

Who are you?  What is your identity? 

Identity is something attached to us. Something that can’t be separated from living being, something that define us, for example “I am the most brilliant boy in my school”, “I’m the fastest man alive,” said Flash. There should be a combination of roles, attributes, behaviors, and associations, which we consider the most important, that are being shaped into a unique identity. Identity is dynamic, it could change from time to time, from place to place. According to Psychology Today, when we are faced with the challenge to our sense of self, the identity crisis will emerge.


Some of us passed our identity crisis in our ‘chaotic’ adolescence years, some of us haven’t passed it yet. The unique thing is some of us didn’t go through identity crisis because we accepted the roles and values handed down by our parents; although for me it’s like you were trying to fit those roles and values into your life instead of discovering them yourself. When you, yourself, have discovered it, that will be your genuine identity. This is not about good or bad, but about your true self. That’s why some people do some self-introspection to change their ‘badness’ into something better.


There are many primary attributes, roles, behaviors, or associations that are usually define us but I will only elaborate sexual identity, spiritual identity, filial identity, and civic identity.

The first one is sexual identity. This is far different from sexual orientation. Sexual orientation doesn’t change the fact that you are a guy, though you might be bi or gay, because you act and talk like a guy. Same applies to the girls. But, If you were born as a man and acted like a girl, or vice versa, that is called ‘identity diffusion’ because you never arrive at a firm identity of who you actually are.

The second one is your spiritual identity. People often said to me, “I don’t really know what my religion is, I accept all of them and pray as I like to, to whom I pray to is not that important.” You might accept all of the religions existed, but when you couldn’t decide to whom should you rest your belief, you might have a spiritual identity crisis. So, I suggest that you decide on which religion you want to be a part of, though later in life you might change your belief.

The third one is about filial identity. This one is so simple if you have the luxury of  knowing who your father and mother is, you knew exactly your filial identity; such as: “I’m Mr. X son”. How about an orphan?  yes, some of them might not know who their real parents was, but the most important thing is when they accept someone to be their own parents or guardian, they might be able to have a firm filial identity. It doesn’t have to be a blood-related relationship, as long as the two sides accept each others.

The last one is your civic identity. Maybe you are already have citizenship of a country, but it doesn’t mean that you are a ‘real’ citizen. For example, you might say you are an Indonesian, but you are not a real citizen of Indonesia if you don’t pay taxes, you throw garbage everywhere you like, and you talk bad about your own country. The real citizenship comes from the deeds, otherwise you are only an occupant in disguise.

Unless we base our sense of identity upon the truth of who we are, it is impossible to attain true happiness – Brenda Shoshanna

Make sure you have a firm identity to define yourself; because if you don’t know who you are you will never find true bliss.

Credit: Psychology TodayLearnet, Google Images

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