How do you define yourself? Is it by the things you wear? Maybe it's by what you do?
Perhaps it's by the groups or clubs you belong to?
Is it by religion? Ethnicity? Race? Gender?
Regardless of the standard by which you define it, the common denominator is... you.
So, who are you?
I was once a proud 'good girl'. I did all the things I thought were expected of me. I lived my life based on the perceptions and expectations of others. I felt lost, just existing from day to day, and striving for all the #goals that you're supposed to want. But what did I want? I mean actually... wholeheartedly wanted. The quest to answer that question lead me to an even bigger question that, to be honest, I wasn't ready for... Who was I?
I realized that I couldn't authentically answer 'What do I want?' because I didn't in fact know who I really was. All the things I used to define myself were predominately external and superficial. I knew there had to be more.
So, I started the dig and did the work. I sought help, found faith through Jesus Christ, journaled, and reflected like crazy and things started to unravel. The lies, the behaviors, and patterns that weren't serving me anymore and that were now hindering me. Trust me, it wasn't pretty. It was raw, yet gratifying. I was humbled, became a true student to life, and allowed God to lead me. I found that without a true knowing of who I was, I was playing myself. Everything that I wanted now, was on the line.
I realized that knowing your true identity, the true essence of who you are, is where your life is flowing from. My life or environment was chaotic and toxic because of the inner turmoil I existed through. I was so focused on changing my life by changing locations, I couldn't see the real problem was me. (I was seriously considering moving to South East Asia.) I didn't know me, love me, or respect me... That's why I couldn't honestly answer 'What do I want?"
As I dove in, finding out who is Rafiat was a journey. I surrendered to faith and the higher calling on my life. What did my Creator have planned for my life?
In answering that question, He began to reveal to me who I am.
Through various experiences, tough conversations with myself and others, revelations, and intuition, I started to pick up the pieces which I so long ago buried. I had covered it by layers and layers of hurt, anger, pride, shame, and poor decisions. Now, I know who I am. I am ever-evolving and growing but my spirit, my essence will always be me.
Identity is complex, but I believe it can truly be simple. It is what you believe to be true about yourself. The question of identity is really at the core of everything you do. What you believe becomes what you think, and what you think becomes what you do. We can often pile on labels and identifiers as we go through life, depending on our experiences. However, knowing who you are is the anchor that keeps you aligned when life throws curveballs. It is your core values, that make your soul smile, even when it is difficult to.
You and I are very similar. I like you are much more than what meets the eye. You are an amazing, unique, and very original being. You are the only 'you' that there is or will ever be. Please understand you are loved and here not by accident or coincidence. But only you decide whether you will merely exist or live!
Finding your identity is a journey of growth and healing. it starts with rediscovering who you are in this moment. For some that may look like seeking professional therapy or starting a bible reading plan or getting a coach. It could be journaling, meditation, or movement. In any case, be open to receive the answers and trust in your intuition to connect the dots until you have a clear picture. Asking yourself the tough questions and giving yourself the grace to hear the answer.
It will be a worthwhile voyage.