After going through many awkward years with a huge identity crisis I finally have given up. It’s not happening. I’m not finding myself. It’s all a hoax. I’ve been labeled and judged and that’s it. I’ve been defined by others and whether I agree with it or not doesn’t matter.
I did think sometimes however, for brief and fleeting moments of self-assured emancipation, that I was someone I knew. When I started growing up and my parents became my biggest fans and champion I thought that was who I was. A charming girl who was a sidekick to her parents and reveled in this type of quick-setting glory. I adopted their mannerism and copied their ways in order to look and act like them. Some people call it the Electra Complex which was later proved to not exist but I didn’t have that. My parents deserved reverence. Loads of it. So I wasn’t smitten by them for nothing. They were the brightest stars of my universe.
Marriage, the thing that I was told was going to be my identity, took away a lot of it. Motherhood took away the rest. A career in medicine ripped me of whatever identity I had left. My hashtags became mom/wife/physician mom/ autism mom/ brown mom/ immigrant physician. Blah blah.
So it’s not weird that my kids will fight with this identity crisis also. They will be called third culture kids and what not and I believe my daughter will have larger issues than my son because she’s a woman. She will be expected to honor culture, revive religion, celebrate her modesty. Blah blah.
My son, I think, is going to make out great. Just like my brother has and just like my husband did. He will play baseball with other kids for as long as we live in suburban America and basketball if he ever chooses to dorm for college. He will wear whatever he wants since modesty isn’t a concept that extends to men. He will also be able to date with casual warnings from his father about how he shouldn’t have sex. I have a feeling that kissing might be okay for my son through subliminal messaging that will reach him from us about how rules are different for him.
My daughter, I believe, is going to have an identity for as long as she is with me. Here’s another woman who gets her. We both dress the same, talk the same and even share ideas about equality and an ideal world for women. She’ll read about the many women who were hunted and even subjected to physical punishment for wanting to educate themselves and live a life that resembles the other gender’s. She’ll think “Thank God I wasn’t born in the 1900s”.
But then she’ll go out of the protective shell of her parents’ home and face the music. She’ll realize that education is easier now just cuz. Not because there’s intentionality involved. Education is just what more modern humans do. But work is hard. Getting accepted is difficult and moving up the ladder is inhibited by virtue of being a woman.
So I don’t want to raise my child with an identity that she has to compromise and add qualifiers to like wife, mother, sister, professional, earner, nester, hunter. I want her to go out as her mother did and take stock of the situation. Really understand how the world works against women and a lot of this antagonism is brought on by other women. How she is better off having no identity except that of a woman so she can truly feel the pain that other women go through. She should actually process the soul-searching and spirit-building. Only then can she be an ally and not pretend to be a woman while looking down upon other women through her bubble of privilege. And identity is a privilege. But an identity as a woman isn’t a privilege. It is however a bare-boned reality of my biggest truth. This is the only truth that keeps internalized misogyny at bay.
Being a woman is the only identity that sets my daughter apart from my son who sets out to conquer the world as the son of Adam while she works to change it as the daughter of a witch.
By the way, the whole universe works for us. It is our misunderstanding that it does not. It is a matter of knowing it consciously and once we reach that stage, life looks wonderful even in the most difficult circumstances.
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Thank you for sharing your situation. I can assure you based on what I have gone through in life that if we ignore the biggest reality of life, then we have no solutions. Just imagine, I go to someone’s home and if I do not acknowledge the owner, I can never behave appropriately in that home. So, the ownership factor must be definite, there cannot be any doubt about it since that determines our behavior. Likewise, a huge majority of the people in this world have ignored the true owner of this universe. I do not think humanity can thrive or be at peace in the absence of this recognition. I hope you do not get tired of this repetition. But there is no choice. How can there be? I think our Creator is the most loving entity in this universe. We need to know Him and build a kind of bond. In the presence of the bond, one looks at life from an entirely different perspective. That can only be experienced, not shared. I hope and wish that we all succeed in this endeavor. You know when we say I am a victim, or I am not powerful enough, or I cannot do this or that, or anything negative, that is an indication of the fact that we need to grasp the meaning of life and know its Creator. We must forget about anything negative because negativity is a poison which destroys us from within. And I do not want to see anyone suffering like that. Will close by saying a prayer for all of us, that may we succeed in knowing the unknown and may be find our Creator.
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Yes you made sense. I can tell you what happened to me. Adversity changes people in different ways. There are no “one track” to becoming the person we need to be in order to acclimate to what life has for us.
I changed for the better and for the worse too, through what some call adversity and I call life. So it would be awesome if all experiences made me believe in how they were intended to make me better or positive or whatever people call it but some definitely made me jaded and wary. So no! This situation didn’t make me a better person. It made me a person who is always watching her back because the system doesn’t work for me. And I alone don’t create the system. Many people do. Many people more powerful than me and my spirituality can help me become peaceful with it all but when you’re set back often, you become jaded. And jaded isn’t what I hoped to become.
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Totally understand your point. But let me say this: Our worry has to be our connection with the Creator and if succeed in that, we can perhaps be a good presence to help others in some manner. As regards other peoples connection, we have no jurisdiction over that. But I can safely say this that if a person has a solid bond with her Creator, then that Creator does not leave you alone. He intervenes to protect you but according to the following principle: He does not burden anyone beyond one’s capacity. We must not forget that adversity is the best friend of human beings, but sadly they are unaware of it. All human progress in material terms is the consequence of adversity. Likewise, our spiritual progress also needs adversity but we do not understand that. We have yet to mature. You have often shared the story of your child. Please tell me: Did not this situation make you a better person? I am sure it did. Should not we be grateful for everything then. Didn’t all great men in human history face the most adverse circumstances. Would they be great without those adversities. No way. That is all I am saying.
Having a solid bond with Creator even creates fear in others. This is not a small thing. One must develop it, experience it, and live it, to understand its beauty or value. I hope I made sense.
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, T. I appreciate it. For me, and just because there are experiences involved, sometimes the connection to our Creator is a piece of the answer. The other piece is the other person’s connection to the Creator also.
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I think I have to be honest, totally honest, otherwise I would not be doing justice to my fellow beings, that is, you. May I ? I hope you will not mind it.
Today I felt a lot of pain while reading this blog. Too much pain, to tell you the truth.
The first question that arises in my mind is: Did our Creator intend this kind of stuff for women? I do not think so, but the reality is otherwise, as discussed by you as well. I totally understand everything you have written, but how about if I share something which might take all this pain away. Is it possible? I think so. How can I believe in a Creator who is so unjust to a segment of His creation. My heart does not accept that. And I think it has some justification for that.
I think God gave us only one identity, that is, we are all human beings created by the same Creator. But how come human beings have failed to understand it for ages. Even in the 21st century, we are grappling with issues that beset human existence in the days of Adam. What a sorry state of affairs?
However, we cannot allow others to destroy our lives. We must not let that happen. But we can only succeed in this mission if we understand our Creator. This feat cannot be otherwise realized. There is no other way at all.
The Creator I have been trying to understand for quite some time does not tell me anything stupid or illogical. I think unless we make a serious endeavor to recognize Him, we will be no where and keep suffering from all things you have mentioned.
So what is the solution to the problems our daughters are going to confront tomorrow?
I think it is simple, at least in theory. It is doable practically as well, if we succeed in building a conscious bond with our Creator.
I think our identity is only one: HUMAN BEING.
We are nothing else but human beings. So I will start life from this simple precept and will not compromise on this come what may. But to understand and digest this concept, I will have to work hard. Unless it becomes my part, I cannot fake.
So, we must tell our daughters to understand this fact, otherwise they will keep struggling against heavy odds and still reach nowhere. I do not think I can afford that for our daughters.
We must compels them to look for truth, otherwise, their lives will be miserable.
Truth frees us from all worries and ills.
Once we discover it, we will be liberated and we will start feeling the impact of it on our existence. It must make us a positively thinking individual, who does not mind any challenge and keeps doing his/her best under all circumstances. You know, developing bond with our Creator has joys which are indescribable. It opens up a new world. It is for this reason our Creator wants us to recognize Him. He wants us to live as honorable beings, not as slaves. Today, even in the most civilized world, women still faces many challenges, though she is million times better of compared to her counterparts in developing or poor countries, where being woman is being more than a slave.
I think mothers must recognize the fact that without knowing their Creator, they will continue to pass on the worst sickness to their daughters.
The only way to live an honorable life is by knowing your place in this universe. It puts everything in place for a person. Alas, not many people are interested in this venture. I can assure you from my life experiences that building a conscious bond with our Creator is the only way to restore everything to its proper place. I wish there were any other option. Your daughter is equally dear to me, though I do not have a blood bond with her, but she is my fellow being. I too will be in pain if I see her or any other woman in pain.
I wish I could show my heart to my fellow beings to let them know it is in pain when it sees them in pain. I do not want to see this pain, but they will have to work on it themselves. The creation plan works in this way. Everybody has to work for oneself. Of course, we can assist each other but nothing more than that.
I think I have written too much now. I will conclude by saying that the only solution to our ills in this life is to know our Creator. All strength flows from knowing Him. He is simply amazing and takes care of His creation like no one. Rather, I should say that He is the only one who takes care of us.
I am sure there must be grammatical errors in my write up but due to the paucity of time, I will not be able to read it. These are my random but honest thoughts.
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