Who are you really?
We identify with many things, but this is just a process in our own minds. In fact, this attachment to identification causes us to suffer.
Your favorite sports team loses OR your favorite artist doesn’t win an award and/or receive the recognition they deserve, and you suffer as though YOU lost. Your car is damaged and it feels like YOU are hurt.
Somebody targets and attacks who they think you are, and it is as though they could actually reach inside and poke at your true self. Is there a way to escape this unnecessary drama and pain?
Well, I personally went on a self-discovery journey – to find the authentic person that lives inside this flesh and operates in mind, body, and spirit. But, I had to detach myself from all the people, places and things – outside influences – that I once used to determine my own self-worth. I found myself going on constant emotional roller coasters every time I lost a relationship, title, job or material item because I allowed those things to completely become me. I had to learn all the things I was not… in order to determine Who I AM.
Perhaps, if you can see what you are not. Seeing this clearly can free you from much of the suffering that comes from identification. Here’s a simple meditation that can help.
A Meditation On Self Identity
Get comfortable in a quiet place. Close your eyes, relax and take several deep breaths, breathe through your nose. Focus on your breaths free-flowing. Let your breathing fall into a naturally flowing pattern. Allow all tension to drain from your body.
Now begin by asking: Where am I? What am I? Who am I? Let these questions sit for a moment in your mind.
Be aware of your body. Think of your legs. Think of your arms. If you lost them, would you cease to exist? Are you your leg? Go through the parts of your body, asking “Am I here?” “Is this my self?”
Open your eyes and look around you. Are you those things? Maybe, you would feel pain if your favorite chair breaks, as though it were you? But you’re not that chair. Ask yourself which of these things you own are you. “Am I this?”
Close your eyes and say your name. Do you feel a sense of identity? What if you had no name? Ask “Am I really…” and say your name again. What’s an honest answer? If this one is tough, say “I am…” and insert any other name. Notice how when you call yourself by another name, you feel differently. Your name-identity is a collection of ideas, something is seen differently by you and others.
As feelings arise, ask “Am I this fear?… this pain, desire, sadness, pleasure, anger? Your feelings are not you – they just pass through you. Your clothes, your body, your reputation – none of it is your true self-identity.
Do this meditation for twenty minutes, then take a deep breath and get up. Notice if you feel different – less worried or less attached to things, feelings and thoughts. Do the meditation as often as necessary, to remind you of what you are not.
Embrace your path of self-discovery.