Discovering who we are is just as much about discovering who we are not. We are not our conditioning or programming, our character traits or our experiences, our roles in life, our appearance, our circumstances or our behaviour, not the past what other people think about us or our even who the ego claims we are. We are able to transform our ideas about and experience of ourselves and in this way, let go of who we are not and allow ourselves time and space to discover who we are.
Which is not to say it is plain sailing. Something interesting occurs when we begin to shift into a new state of being, the ego, the body, the conditioned mind try to make us revert to known ways of being, to familiar modes of thinking and feeling and acting so as we do the work to change, we are often confronted with fearful or distressing thoughts. It is in these moments that we get to make truly fundamental changes to the way we operate by remaining aware of who we are not – our social signifiers, what we have done, what has been done to us, what we have been taught and told and had modelled for us – so that we can open up to and discover who we are.
Journalling can be a helpful way of investigating how and where we assign meaning in life, uncovering our deep rooted beliefs, exploring our fixed ideas and perspectives so that we can come to understand how they shape and impact the way we think and feel and behave as well as identify the conditioning and programming that tells us who we are and what our place is in the world which often prevent us from living as we wish to. Uncovering the patterning we have subconsciously put in place to keep us feeling somewhat safe and in control in life can help us to see what we need to let go of, transform and reprogramme so that the resolutions we make to live better from the conscious mind align with our actions the rest of the time.
Until we recondition the subconscious mind to operate from an understanding that we are more than our conditioning, more than our programming, more than the messaging that has formed our concepts and expressions of self, we will keep identifying with our triggers, fighting for our limitations and failing to make the changes we so long to. Discovering who we are is about uncovering what truly lies within us and recognising that our identifiers do not constitute the true self which is eternal, intelligent life force guiding us to recognise our power and potential we hold to live well in every moment.
Getting clear on the belief systems that inform our choices and actions can bring to light ideas and opinions we didn’t know we had, aren’t really invested in and actually consciously view as unhelpful. Learning to distinguish between our instincts, intuition and true values and the limited viewpoint of the ego allows us to find that we have the ability to choose which direction we look in so that we are able to expand beyond and change the roles we play or have been assigned, the behaviour we engage in, the feelings we act on and the thinking we default to when we aren’t paying attention.
Discovering who we are allows us to direct the energy of life, love, creativity, inspiration, joy and wellbeing so that we have fun in the physical world. As we begin to explore this further, we find that all that defines us are simply interpretations, ideas, constructions of thought and that investing in and identifying with these has led us to act, live, think and feel as we do and that we can always change how we view and respond to them.
We are always learning but are we learning more about who we really are or how to be more of what we are not? Are we learning to expand into our potential and beyond our conditioning or to retreat further into fear and smallness? As we learn, we change our perspective, shift our understanding and transcend our previous insights into life and the nature of existence. We all have what we need to live well and celebrate life. We are all created from an intelligent and loving energy that we are a part of, that exists within us and all around us, that lives us and guides us and that we can uncover our connection with and lean upon on the journey of self realisation that is ultimately self love.
We all have wisdom within steering us in the direction of freedom from concepts of self that feel limiting rather than expansive and it is in our discomfort, in our awareness that something is not quite right that we become aware that there is a way for us to feel better in life and that we have the inborn confidence and courage to take it. Recognising and uncovering our ability to know how to do so and our potential for creating a life we love and an experience that feels healthy to us are the actions of self trust, self worth and self respect and we take them when we move towards the unknown because it offers all that we have denied ourselves until now.
When facing the prospect of delving into our pasts, our pain, our belief systems, connecting first with our heart space and centring ourselves in the experience of love is a powerful and beautiful practice that guides us in truth and peace. It is via the heart that we have access to all wisdom. It is in the heart centre that we are called to act from love when coming up against our conditioning. The desire for self discovery, for self realisation is the soul’s call to love. It is the reminder that beyond our fear and pain we are spiritually whole and well, safe and wise, always being guided and led in grace and truth by the wisdom of life that we can access and explore through heart based living.
When we trust in our hearts, we no longer engage in battle with ourselves, we no longer have to fight in order to become free of our conditioning. Instead we are led to become aware of how we are creating our experiences of life and notice the options and choices we have for living peacefully, respectfully, reverently. The spiritual path leads us to experience unconditional love, to give up battling ourselves in favour of following our inner wisdom.
In this space we take responsibility for our actions. We empower ourselves to move beyond victimhood into self trust and self truth. We are free until we think we are not. This means we are able to identify the unhelpful or obsolete beliefs and programming that have led us to certain ways of being and expand beyond them into new and more aligned experiences. We all want freedom, health, happiness and they are available to us on the other side of our fixed notions about who we are and our emotional experience of them. Moving beyond the way we feel means taking charge of the way we think which requires that we know this is an option and that we are dedicated to experimenting with it.
When we do this in love, we act less as the familiar self and do more of what feels good to us as we investigate the limitless potential we hold within. We are more invested in change than in reliving and continuing to invest in the emotional experience of the limited self. We can trust in our hearts to lead us in living healthy and happy lives because it is by following our hearts that we explore truth and ultimately overcome the limiting ideas that the conditioned self invests in. It is by entering this space of coherence, intelligence and ancient wisdom that we begin to unravel our construction, that we set ourselves free from continuing on the path of desiring to be free from the suffering caused by identification with the ego whilst still defaulting to it.
The consciousness that lives us is limitless knowledge that we are able to access when we remove our focus from who we think we are and open ourselves up to what information resides there. This is when we are guided by God/ love/ source/ light/ Universal intelligence in living and develop our understanding of the true self. In this state of communion with the Divine, we are acknowledging that we cannot change the constructed self, the conditioned mind, the limited personality from that space and we give ourselves over to something far greater that can lead us to a greater expression of ourselves than we have experienced previously.
We all have moments of clarity, insight, understanding that amaze us, that shift us into a state of gratitude and connection, wonder and awe, that allow us a glimpse into the wisdom and intelligence available to us when we become open to it. Becoming who we really are rather than who we have made ourselves to be sees us releasing psychic blocks to the flow of wellbeing. When we shrug off the veil of illusion that covers our truth, we connect with the beauty and wonder of life. The more conscious we become of how we live, the more able we are to operate from a lighter, healthier, happier approach.
Love leads us to reflect honestly on how we view ourselves and in turn how we view the world. How are we assigning meaning? What value do we place and where? When we notice how we view and judge life, we get to choose to witness the processes that go into making these ideas true for us. What are the beliefs that create meaning, what ideas are they routed in, how do we feel when we pay attention to and invest in them? Self discovery is a process of unravelling, of unwinding what binds us, of retuning the false concepts and misunderstandings that form the foundation of our life experience and returning to the innate and trustworthy knowledge of who we are and what is available to us.
When we feel guided to be and share and do from the knowledge we uncover in our purest moments, we allow our attention to shift from investment in the limited self to awareness of all that we hold within us. We bypass the ego and we break free of the limiting patterns that we have innocently put in place in response to a misunderstanding of who we are and how life works. As we remove layers of identity, of the created self, we become able to distance ourselves from the beliefs, perspectives, emotions and behaviour we once felt inextricably linked to so that we can take new action in the moment they are triggered. We have the ability to release the ideas and meaning we have assigned them that have led us to experiencing and interacting with the world in the way that we do.
When we assign meaning, we assess and categorise and use the intellect to try to organise the world. If we are aware of how our conditioned beliefs and programming influences and affects this process, we gain insight into why we see things as we do and realise that whilst our judgements seem real and valid, if they aren’t enhancing our lives, leading us to understand ourselves in a way that benefits us in our growth and development, we can change them, we can give ourselves over to the wisdom that is available to lead us so that we are guided by insight, realisation and a more open and balanced mindset less attached to a need to make sense of life from and in line with our limited thinking and more interested in experiencing it from a healthier point of view.
When we do, we play less and less into the fears and insecurities and judgements of the constructed self and are more open to living from a graceful awareness that is far less invested in attempting to make sense of the world in order to back up the ego and far more interested in a peaceful, loving and easy experience of life, open up to the fact it is on offer to us. When we let go of the need to assign meaning according to a belief system that does not benefit us and do so with loving awareness, clarity and a lighter approach to exploring and identifying what resonates with our spiritual truth rather than our mental constructs, we allow ourselves to move beyond a rigid state of being and enter a state of flow and freedom that engenders and encourages flexibility, adaptability and transformation.
Becoming aware of an unhelpful belief system based on a limited understanding of who we are, what we can do, what is on offer to us and how this plays out in the wider world can help us to take a step back from it in order to consider whether it is a helpful choice and whether it enhances our lives or not. When we find that it does not, it makes sense to stop investing in it and we do this by practicing awareness so that we can learn more about the choices we make in each moment. We deserve and are designed to live as the highest expressions of our truth, able to navigate life happily and successfully, from an increasingly more enjoyable perspective. The freedom this offers us is dizzying to the limited mind. It is ecstasy for the soul that guides us to it.