A few months ago, I was invited by a television station to discuss whether or not weaves are a sign that women are having an identity crisis.
To set the record straight, I have an undeniable love for weaves. For me, they are like shoes. I can alternate from weaves to braids, but there is a reason why I tend to wear weaves more often than braids. I am a black woman and there is a lot that goes into taking care of my hair, so a weave is my cheat sheet. However, these weaves do not define who I am.
Some people do define themselves by external things such as the car they drive, their circle of friends, the position they hold at work, the label of their clothing, their fame and fortune, or their relationship status.
This is daunting because all these things can be taken away from us. People leave, marriages end, money can be lost...really anything can be stripped away from us. When these things are taken, how then do we define ourselves? Who do we become?
Even though it is true that these are desires, some more important than others, we should seek companionship and financial stability, but we should never seek fulfillment from these things and we should never let these things define who we are.
Your actions and demeanor are closely tied to your beliefs and perceptions about yourself. If your sense of identity is twisted, you may unknowingly behave in ways that are inconsistent with who you truly are.
I have had people in my life who have made me feel insecure. Despite feeling incredibly insecure due to their actions, my behavior in those moments was not influenced by their impact on me. Instead, it was influenced by my wavering understanding of my own truth. Although the feelings of insecurity persisted, when I took a moment to remember who I am, I recognized that acting in a manner contradictory to my true self would not align with who I know myself to be.
To say that I never need validation from people is not possible. We are meant to be in communion with one another and I think getting validation from those around you is very important. If you have healthy and secure people around you, this should not be an issue, but relying on others constantly and allowing them to define your identity is not the best idea.
Not knowing your identity or defining who you are based on external circumstances are two of the most tragic things in life.
If we don’t know who we are, then how can we not have an identity crisis? This is not about race or the hairstyles we chose to have. This is who we are as people, our highest and most inner person we were created to be. The inner you who radiates light, love, and grace.
"For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing," James 1: 23-25.
I think this means that the true way we get to know who we are, is by getting to know the word of God and then doing what it says. The word of God says that we are children of God, who are loved with unconditional love, it says that we have been forgiven and that nothing will ever separate us from God's love. It also says we should forgive and love one another, and love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
It also says we should cultivate a close relationship with God, by putting him first and allowing him to be the center of our lives. It says that even though we will face hardships, it promises that we will never be abandoned. That if things don't work out as planned, He will work everything together for our good.
Knowing that I am God's child and I have an inheritance has helped me remain grounded and focused, regardless of the challenges I face in my life. I acknowledge that I may experience feelings of insecurity and fear, but I choose not to be controlled by those emotions.
Instead, when I feel out of balance, I turn to the promises of God and I find comfort in the assurance that, as a child of God, I have security, protection, joy, peace, and love that will always be available to me. I also know that I have victory over every obstacle that I face in my life.
As a child of God, this belief allows you to face life's trials with confidence and strength, knowing that you are not alone and that you have divine support.
In summary, the individual remains steadfast in their identity as a child of God and holds onto the promises and blessings that come with it. They rely on God's words and truths to overcome fear and insecurity and find solace, security, and victory in their connection with the divine.
Our true identity is more than just what we wear or how we look. It is what the Word of God says we are; and if we genuinely believe it, it becomes us.
I know that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Nevertheless, our actions reveal who we truly are inside. I am not ignorant of the fact that people can pretend to be someone they are not – that is also an identity crisis.
If you believe that you are beautiful, you act like it. If you believe in your salvation, you live like it. If you believe you are loved, you rest in it. We believe that we have Christ’s Spirit in us, yet we don’t act like it. We learn every day how much God loves us, but we don’t live like loved people, we don’t treat ourselves as forgiven people, and we don’t live our lives as righteous people – we don’t know who we are.
We may look in the mirror often, but because we believe what society tells us about what we're supposed to be, we quickly forget who we truly are.