Identity Crisis: Know Thyself

“I do understand. Years ago, even before Sen. Elizabeth Warren was exposed for identifying herself as Native American (which she is not), I believe I was the first person in the world to assert that transgender activism by Chaz Bono (and now by Caitlyn Jenner) could sow the seeds for people not only to assert their core gender identities, despite DNA evidence to the contrary, but also to assert their racial identities, despite physical and historical evidence to the contrary. If a man with male anatomy and a “Y” chromosome can assert he is female and be put on the covers of celebrity magazines and given awards for bravery, why can’t a white woman assert that her internal identity is that of a black woman?” -Dr. Keith Ablow, Why Rachel Dolezal’s assertion that she is black could pave way for folks choosing a ‘racial identity’

I have wondered for a long time now if the world around me is experiencing some sort of strange collective identity crisis. It’s like we hate ourselves so much that we want nothing more than to close our eyes and recreate ourselves in our own image; a fresh canvas free to paint as we so will.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I hate that image in the mirror as much as the next person, but at least I’m willing to face him.

And perhaps that is what has me so perplexed. We, the collective we, are so wrapped in fear that we want to shut out all reality and live in an unfettered land of make believe. The politically correct thing to do is to encourage those around us to embrace who they feel themselves to be, no matter how wildly it may fly in the face of cold hard reality -genetics, history, and even nationality be damned.

Despite how hard it is to face, I’ve always believed that at the center of life’s journey is the call to γνῶθι σεαυτόν – Know Thyself. Which is to say that we are to lay out everything we are, toss aside the bullshit, and come to know ourselves; really know ourselves. Even the ugly parts.

I don’t want to see the ugly parts of me anymore than the next person, but whether or not I face them, they still play a vital role in who I truly and honestly am. Perhaps if we would just face ourselves and who we are, then we could find a way to better ourselves by lifting up the good parts, putting away the dirty parts, and come to an honest peace with everything. Maybe then we could get past this need to be so screwed up all of the time.

Maybe we have sold ourselves to the free market mantra that we are not enough. We need something more to be happy. If only I had, if only I was, then I would be complete. The things we grasp for seem to leave us the same way we were before having obtained them; dissatisfied, empty, wanting.

Why are we so afraid to plunge into the terrifying beauty of ourselves? Why all this noise? Why all these distractions? I wonder if we just don’t want to submerse ourselves into the fathomless depths of our souls because it is so much much.

It is a terrifying thing to face the uncertain and unknown because it is exactly that. I know it is far easier to cling to the things we wish to be, to the things we think we know, but I think if we continue wandering around with our eyes closed, we will continue to be ill at ease, and never be at peace.

“…we are rushing into this philosophical and psychological landscape with almost no consideration of its implications.”
-Dr. Keith Ablow

About St Basil Z Fish

Curator of the strange and incredibly awkward. A rambling writer with the misguided notion he has something to say. His only redeeming qualities are his wife and children.
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