WHAT’S IN A LABEL?

For many years, the three of us on this blog have explored together issues of identity development, particularly the notion of how one integrates the different aspects of ‘self’ (e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality) into an overall self-concept. How does one make sense of the whole of one’s differing identities?

Today I want to point you to a beautiful, thoughtful, and poignant blog that gets at the intense questioning that one must engage in to stay on the journey of understanding one’s identity. http://www.danoah.com/2012/11/anything-other-than-straight.html

Dan Pearce’s blog also highlights the significance of culture, social context and community in supporting and undermining a person’s journey towards wholeness. A dear friend regularly sends me postings from Ten Minutes of Torah Study. Yesterdays post explored Jacob’s struggle with God by the Jabbok river (Genesis 32). I have been pondering two points from this study that connect, at least for me, to a person’s struggle in understanding self. First, is that our struggles – our wrestlings – about self and God are intertwined and it’s difficult sometimes to know whether we are struggling with God or struggling with ourselves. Secondly, “through struggle comes growth and reconciliation, and that only through direct confrontation are we able to change from who we are to who we were meant to be.” (http://view.mail.rj.org/?j=fec511767366017f&m=fe9315707361057572&ls=fe281776716c0479761d72&l=fefd167574660c&s=fe58127173610c747510&jb=ffcf14&ju=fe6215717d670579771d&r=0)

Sometimes (maybe more often than not) that struggle is not with God, or others, but with ourselves.

In the next few days, I am looking forward to pondering and writing about some of the questions that Pearce has raised.