Monday, July 11, 2011

Identity. The core me.

Hi friends, cotravelers, and my volunteer psychotherapists;

  Yes, that is an unpaid position.  Sorry.

  Reading Scotties recent post, I began to think about gender identity, and perhaps the identity that is really core to us all. 
  Most researchers believe that children develop a general understanding of themselves as boys or girls around three years of age.  That's likely due in great deal to their exposure to other boys and girls, as I'd imagine that a child in a less experiential environment would learn this issue at a different time.  But, point is, they learn fairly young, and then we spend a lifetime understanding this basic lesson of life.
  What does it mean to be a boy?  Or, in a more adult case, a man?  A woman?  How does that follow towards a future in our culture?  Do we define our gender by our actions, our likes, or our equipment?  Is it more in line with our desires?
  I will be honest; I've met some women who were very "masculine" and it took me back a bit.  I've met some men who were very "feminine" and it also surprised me a bit.  I say this in terms of how they presented themselves to others, how they reacted, acted, dressed, groomed, spoke, inflected, moved, and expressed their image to others.  I think it was because the image didn't match the package.
  We expect a great deal of our environment.  If you ask a soldier coming home from war, he will tell you that his reactions to everday stimuli are in conflict with his recent training.  If you ask a person who goes to another country, even with no language impediment, the culture is different and that traveler will tell you that he feels out of sorts with others.  We stereotype stimuli and expect things to be similar in most arenas, freeing our mind of the constant observations so that we can move out on other issues.  It is this mis-file of information that stops the mind, requires a recheck and in some cases a whole new file. 
  My thought is this:  What defines a man as a man ~ what defines a woman as a woman ~  what if what's on the outside may not meet what beats on the inside?  You know, it's all really irrelevent because all are people.  In the end, it's just me.  It's just you.  And while we have roads to travel, understandings to come to, hang-ups to release, we are as we are, as we will be, as we once were.  We are our hopes, our dreams, our laughs, our cries; we are our loves, our fears, our likes and our dislikes.  I hope that I am brave enough to love me.  I hope I am wise enough to love you.  And I hope I live long enough that such a hope is not a lone concept but is held in common when we all can look to another and say:  "You are beautiful".