Branded By: Stacey Spencer
We all have our own personal print, the things that make us who we are.
Each strand of life absorbs itself within our DNA. Our growth of likes and dislikes from life’s branches such as culture and society, education and work, relationships, music, beliefs and values; attach to our DNA and form as particles that make up the anatomy of our identity. These and others help define and shape us.
From the day we were born to our last dying breath, we can come across as pawns on a chessboard being in the process of human branding.
You may be familiar with the term ‘Branding’; it is the technique of marking something in order to verify its identity, ownership. As humans we can be seen as
brands. The world we grow up in fights for our identity daily. These battles can
be seen visually, psychologically, physically and spiritually. We are bombarded
by images and words everyday; situations showing us who we are or are not, and where
we may have come from.
The strife between the internal and external natures of humanity is one of the biggest and most fierce battles we face. The fight of our identity is core to winning or losing this war.
As life’s happenings brand us we begin to participate in a very transparent battle. Often times we have thoughts or situations that cause us to not fit into society, which the world can deem as ‘bad’ as we are not conforming to its systems.
Striving for individualism can be tiring but needed in a person’s life so that they know who they are. We may look the same, sound the same and even dress the same at times but we need that part of our personality and nature that makes us different.
When I use the term ‘human branding’ the main thought trail is external materialism. This could be our speech, the brand names we wear, money and other things. However, the real root of my thought is INTERNAL branding; the things we have absorbed in our hearts and minds through our experiences and circumstances.
"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."
Whether you read the Bible or not the principle of the scripture can be seen. What comes out of you contaminates you. This places emphasis on your internal state; what is going on inside your heart and mind once affected by what life throws at you. The things we hold onto and begin to wear on our inside.
Looking in the mirror is an internal, reflective state that we need to do. We cannot always see everything about us but it is important for us to examine ourselves. I am not saying that you cannot wear brand clothing or you have to stop spending time on yourself to look good. We all need to take care of ourselves but not to the extent where life only revolves around ourselves. What I AM saying is that we need to be aware of our internal brands. Our external life strands pave way to the formation of our internal intake. The externals affect the internals.
When you think about yourself or see yourself who do you see?
What do you see?
Do you like what you see?
Are you who you say you are or is it someone else’s mark you see?
We can all have those times in our lives where we become unhappy with a part of ourselves and want to change but the bigger issue at stake here is when we begin to wear other people’s clothing. Pride in its deceptive low form of low self esteem and lack of confidence, confusion, doubt, mental insecurities of what other people think of us and needing their acceptance or approval, the names people call us, conforming because of fear and rejection, amongst other factors all contribute to the fallen state of humanity and branding. A sense of ‘who am I?’ or even worse ‘I don’t like who I am’. We forget our personal ownership and become slaves to another. When someone else’s voice becomes louder than our own then we have a problem.
Our identities have become the targets of assault on the battlefield. We have become wounded. Some of us are aware of our identity wounds. Others dress them and play pretend, whilst some are oblivious to the fact that they are even wounded. People can call us names, we can conform and compromise, materialism can label us and life can transform us but sooner or later you have to take the make-up off and become who you really are. What is on the inside will always come out eventually; our thinking and what has tainted us will show its ugly face.
It can seem hard to find yourself in a world that constantly tells you who you are meant to be. Images of how you should look, the latest trends and beauty regimes, labels being attached to us because of judgment, names piercing your being by the fiery tongues of others, abuse or other circumstances constantly can create comparisons and thoughts of re-questioning. This can cause us to compromise and fall short of who we truly are; almost like an identity theft has taken place
We need to get to a point in our lives where we begin to strip ourselves of these labels and prints that we have become.
Growing up is and will continue to be a journey, some things are us and some things are not us. There comes a time where we must decide who we are and want to be. We are more than what we think. Branding marks the skin as it burns and leaves scars. We must remember that when we begin the strip and change ourselves of human branding, that it is a process. Some brands are easier to remove than others. Some brands are easier to forgive than others. At times it will hurt and be very painful but in order to become who you are, you must get rid of who you were not. With all the right support, help, advice and love, you WILL learn to be your own identity again. We can get lost at times but be encouraged to find yourself and be who you are as there is no one like you. Regardless of what you think, YOU ARE NEEDED.
Images and sources:
1. Girl surrounded by her own reflections: http://www.awn.com/vfxworld/reflections-divergent-vfx
2. Girls head being covered with hands in her reflection: http://pozitivnap.hu/sikertortenetek/keress-boldogsagot-szabadulj-meg-13-szokastol
Identify. Embrace and Uphold Your True Beauty
Beautiful Faces Ministries
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