Identities are powerful. Identities are like labels. Who you identify with says a lot about who you are.
Identities provide a set of rules based on values and beliefs. These rules determine how a person should behave, think, mingle, and much more.
For example, vegans value preserving all living creatures and their rule is not to use any animal products. Or people who identify with specific religion can only marry another from the same faith.
People can become emotionally invested and attached to their identities. Because identities provide a sense of belonging and boost self-esteem. Yet, identities are one of the many stories created in the mind. You become limited and eventually a slave to your identity when you believe in them.
When your identity dictates what you're only allowed to wear, eat, or where to go, you miss out on potentially new and eye-opening experiences. When your identity dictates who you are allowed to befriend, you miss out on potentially beautiful friendships with others.
While there are psychological benefits to having a label, don't be too attached to your identity. Move beyond your identity and experience all the world has to offer.
Inspired by Amy Schmidt's Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master