Ministry Theme of the Month
Here are some resources for you to engage with this month’s theme of Identity:
The question of how identity is formed and shaped over time is a curious one. Social scientists tell us that certain aspects of our identity are prescribed at birth. Or in the words of Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker: “we receive who we are before we choose who we will become.” Throughout our lives, our identity continues to change. Increasingly, self-identity includes multiple dimensions. I call this “the multi-multi self.” Even at age 50 or 60, some of us are claiming parts of ourselves not yet fully explored, and new identities emerge.
Identity is not always a choice. Sometimes it is imposed by an outside power—by a parent, a colonizing force or cultural pressures…
In thinking about identity, here are some questions to consider. If you were to draw a pie chart of your various identities, which dimension (or dimensions) would take up the largest portion? Would it be gender or race? Sexuality or nationality? Occupation or a particular role you play? It might be…abilities…Unitarian Universalism…
“All people,” says psychologist Naim Akbar, “have a major task, from cradle to grave, of defining who they are.” Spiritual wholeness comes from finding meaning in life—which begins with knowing who you are.
What are some of your identities?
How do they fit together? Are some more important than others? Why? Are some in conflict?
Which come from roles, birth, and which are chosen? Which do you want to keep, diminish, explore?
What values do you experience from knowing who you are?
What disadvantages come with a sense of identity?
What do you experience as your center? Is there a part you would describe as spiritual? How would you describe it?