It is recognizing that I am not my failures, my scars, or my weaknesses. I’m shaped by all these things, they serve as memories of what I’ve overcome, or things that I still have to work on, and that’s okay. But I am not solely defined by them. Rather, we are defined by how well we rise after falling.
My faith as it stands is not merely a product of my former beliefs being shattered and broken, nor did it spring up out of thin air one day, strong and unwavering. It was a process of trial and error, of strength in adversity, and the journey of experiencing the initial despair of brokenness, the joy of knowing that I’ve come farther than I ever would have imagined, the moments of doubt, the moments of hope, and everything in between.
The process itself was what created my path, not necessarily the place I was in to begin with or the place I wanted to reach. Each challenge brought me new perspective, a better understanding of how best to structure that faith so that it might withstand the blows that brought it crumbling down in the first place. I came to realize that things I had taken as being ‘bad’ or ‘destructive’ could be tools for strength—doubt made my path fluid and capable of change, our own mortality made life worth living, rebellion served as a method of challenging oppressive forces and granting a voice to the voiceless.
Likewise, I make it a point to try and represent Lucifer in all zir aspects—the good and bad. Because while ze may have blood on zir hands from staging a violent rebellion, ze is also responsible for granting humanity the choice to realize their full potential, and the experience of life as being temporary and all the more precious because of it. Ze is as much shaped by zir defeat as ze is by zir former position as Beloved of YHWH. Ze represents persisting despite opposition and slander, of creating an identity for oneself rather than accepting the identity imposed one by others, whether that be ‘obedient servant’ or ‘Father of Lies’. We shape our own identities by conforming or breaking free of these labels—Lucifer zirself goes by many identities, some ze chooses to accept and some perpetuated by others: accuser, lightbearer, adversary, Morningstar, tempter, liar etc., but they do not become factual unless ze acts upon those identities. Action and deeds define, not words.
For me, much of my identity is wrapped up in living out these luciferian values, of being a reflection of the ideals represented through zir mythology, and of undergoing the ‘phoenix effect’ that is at the core of Luciferianism. But I am not bound by these values, the choice to live by them is just that—a conscious choice, and one that must be constantly renewed in order to avoid stagnation.
But identity also refers to the fact that I am my own person, that I have a life and obligations outside of my faith. I may be a devotee and disciple, but I am also a daughter, friend, student, caretaker, artist, and various other personas. These values rooted in my faith do not supersede my ability to live life to the fullest—after all, “life is there to be lived”, and Luciferianism is built around the almost paradoxical idea of making the most of a flawed, imperfect, mortal existence while striving to rise above those limits.