Thoughts on Personal Identity

It seems for the most part, I have many good traits, and those that just are what they are. However, like all people, there are some vices or bad traits that make up who I am – addictions, poor health traits, anything that could potentially damage me in the long run, etc. Based on my beliefs, this stems from original sin and that it’s in my nature as an imperfect human being. Of course, that’s why I need Christ in my life. While these negative qualities are few, they can quickly cancel out all the positive or unique qualities of myself if I’m not careful.

I recently made a list of any and all traits I could think of that make up who I am as a person. While I know I tend to focus on my singleness and quitting porn, those are only 2 of 10 negative qualities I found about myself. Nearly half of what makes me “me” are positive, and over a third are simply neutral and may or may not affect how I live my life. So, in practicality, there are many other better parts of myself I can, and should, focus on rather than singleness and quitting porn.

Many of the positives were anything that either make me a good person (kind, child of God, open about myself) or make me unique (Brony, Furry, writer, audiophile). Personally, anything that makes someone unique, usually interests, can be a positive trait; they’re either a well-rounded person, or a lot of them can be things that allow others to describe them in one word (in my case: Biologist, writer, geek to name a few). I get the whole negativity behind labeling someone you don’t know that well, or do know that well, but I’m focusing on identity. Having that sense of identity in something or someone can remind you how awesome you are, or help you look at what parts of your life you should change or remove outright.

Of course, the negatives about yourself can also help you see what you need to change about yourself. In my case, my two major vices are porn and smoking, though I have found I have other negative aspects regarding my health as well: slightly overweight for my age/height/gender, tendency to be lazy, don’t eat healthy foods all the time, and my heart condition Pulmonary Stenosis. A lot of these I can change via simple changes in my lifestyle, save for my heart condition since I was born with that. But as we all know, changing your lifestyle for the better can be very hard; reaching a perfectly healthy lifestyle is impossible because we are all unique in our own ways physically, and we are simply imperfect beings.

The neutral aspects just are what they are or are both positive and negative, depending on how you look at them (male, virgin, not muscular or chubby, never had a dad, deep thinker, bisexual, single). A lot of what I listed simply came from how my life went, and still is going. Some have both positive and negative aspects to them; in my case, being able to think deeply on things helps me figure things out on my own, but I can easily go into dangerous territory with it too. From a Biological standpoint, it’s just how we are as humans and what phenotypes (expressed traits) we gain from whoever spawned us; from a spiritual standpoint, we are simply imperfect, human beings born into sin.

I made this list, and decided to blog about it of course, because my friend Josh challenged me with my singleness: Will finding someone really make me happy? Will it be something that will truly make me “me”? The obvious answer is “No,” and I’ve found it rings true. Finding someone may not make me happy in the end, and they may not, nor shouldn’t, be the core of my identity. The only one who should be that center of happiness is God and his love through Christ’s death and resurrection. I admit, I haven’t been focusing a lot on God in a long time; at best, I go to church when I can and that’s about it. Somehow, sometime, among my busy schedule, I need to find time to at least talk with Him, maybe start reading my Bible again if I can too. In every moment of my life, I can always use His presence.

Light can expose the darkness inside, allowing me to see what I need to change about myself; it can also comfort and remind me that I’m not a terrible person just because of that darkness. God will still love me for who I am, and He will guide me and help me as I grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

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