You might not be who you think you are. It might just be that who you think you are is an idea, a concept, but not the true you. And that version of you is making your life dull, less lively, and passionate.
Which raises the question, who are we? A question that has kept me, and many generations of mankind, busy. For most young adults it is a stage in life, in which all they are doing is figuring out who they are, what they want to do, what their passion is, and all the rest of it.
So who are you? Can you answer that question? Because if you observe yourself you might just realize that there are multiple versions of you. Which one is the real you?
The One You Think You Are
It really sounds like a game of whack a mole, in which you try to identify the real you, by smacking the non-real-yous. Quite a violent way, to either deny parts of you that you don’t want to be or try to change parts of you so that you can be who you want to be.
In this game of finding, creating, or identifying who we are we are never realizing our true selves.
Let’s start at the beginning, if I ask you who you are, what is your answer? It’s highly likely that you will name things like your name, your background, the things you do, your job title, and much more. All of that is it the real you, or are the conditions, beliefs, ideas, concepts that you created and gathered over your lifespan.
You see, there are three versions of who we think we are. The first one being, the one we think we are. It’s the version of ourselves, that is based upon the past.
All these things you might answer to that initial question are experiences, titles, ideas, and beliefs you gathered over the years. Your name was given to you by your parents, but it’s not truly who you are. It’s just a name that you use to identify yourself with others.
Neither is your job title or the things you do something to base yourself upon. Saying that you are an engineer would imply that in all of your life, whilst eating, sleeping, playing video games, and all the rest of it, you would be an engineer. That’s simply impossible. Your job is yet again a title that you have gathered through the years, by studying for a specific degree or working for it.
You might also come up with things like the way you look, the way you dress, a specific group of people you belong to, or you might say that you are a soul living a human experience. All of this is still not you. All of it is still an idea, a belief, an image that is created by the mind.
This isn’t the real you, because this version of you, the one you think you are, the one that is created through the years is created by knowledge, which comes about through things outside of you. Even saying that you are a soul living a human experience is not who you are, because where did this idea that you are a soul come from?
If you closely observe the ideas you have over who you are, you will realize that it’s not the real you, but just an idea, or concept of who you are, made up by all kinds of different fragments and parts.
Right it came from someone else sharing it with you. Therefore it is yet again an idea that you gathered in life and now hold onto, believing it, or even holding it for the truth. Whereas if you closely observe this you will realize that it’s not the real you, but just an idea, or concept of who you are, made up by all kinds of different fragments and parts.
The One You Want To Be
Next to this idea of thinking who we are, there is an uprising idea that we can and should become who we want to be. Just a year back I was in the middle of this idea, which is largely shared in the self-development world, in which the main belief is that we should always grow ourselves into the person we want to be.
Changing our habits and making sure they are successful. Or changing our mindset, and all the forced growth that is happening when we change ourselves in a version that we want to be.
This is the second version of who you think you are. The one that is based on potential, on achievement, on a future version of you. When we say, I want to be more productive, or I want to be more mindful in my life, we are trying to be a version of ourselves that we are not.
We start to gather ideas, habits, practices, and things that will help us to become this version of who we want to be. And say that we can shape ourselves and become the best version of ourselves.
This is a highly dangerous version of you, and I’ll explain why, because I fell for the same trap. You see when we idealize ourselves by imagining and building towards the best version of ourselves we completely reject who we are right now.
That rejection of who we are creates a lot of friction, a lot of sorrow, and suffering, cause the moment we realize we aren’t what we want to be, we as we are, aren’t good enough. Therefore we need to do something that can change who we are into the one we want to be.
This is nothing more than violence. In this desire to become who we want to be, we both deny who we are, not loving ourselves as we are, as well as doing everything in order to get to where we want to be. Which blinds us to a lot of the damage we are doing.
The moment we realize we aren’t what we want to be, we as we are, aren’t good enough. Therefore we need to do something that can change who we are into the one we want to be.
Like the damage to yourself. The moment you say I am not the best version of myself, and I want to be that, you are comparing yourself and internally creating a war. A war between who you are and who you want to be, for the grand cause of becoming a better version of you.
This is like the religious crusades that went on many years ago. Saying that to create a better world only Christianity should be followed. Which is insanity. It is destructive, and we are doing the very same thing to ourselves internally. By saying this is what is, and I don’t like that which I am right now. Therefore I will do everything in my power to change the way I am and become the version I want to be.
You Are Dwelling In Thought, Not In Actuality
Now the second one is most of all romanticized. Making it look like the ultimate form of growth as human beings. That this is what we were made for, and that this is how we make the world a better place.
Yet we aren’t realizing that all this striving to become some version of ourselves that is better than we are right now is making life dull at this very moment.
Can you see this? Can you realize this? That the moment you either live in the belief that you know completely who you are with all these kinds of ideas, beliefs, and concepts, or that you live in the belief that you are becoming the best version of yourself, that life as it is right now is never filled with beauty and wonder?
Can you see that? I hope you can. Because now you are realizing who you are. You see both the version of you that is based on the past, and the one that is based on the future are making life dull, less interesting, and passionate. Cause you are either living in something that was, or you are working towards something that will be.
Never in the actuality, and extraordinary beauty of what is. This dwelling between who you think you are, and who you want to be will never give you full satisfaction in life. It will never make you feel fully alive. There’s only one understanding of you that will. That will make you feel fully alive.
The One You are
That version of you is never static. It’s not based on the past, nor on the future. Nor is it ever the same. It’s never based on ideas about what’s right or wrong, good or bad, who you are and who you are not.
Who you are is the one you are right here and now. It is full actuality. It includes everything you are feeling, doing, experiencing right now, without all the ideas, beliefs, and conditions of the past. Nor with all the goals for the future you.
You see, this is what makes life so beautiful. You as you are, in this actual moment, that’s who you are. And that version of you is always beautiful.
Yes even when you feel anger, resentment, violence, jealousy, sadness, and all the rest of the other ‘bad’ emotions. These aren’t separate from who you are. Although you might want to be this loving and kind person, by practicing or trying to be that, you aren’t actually it.
If you strive to be a loving person you aren’t. Why? Because you are violent towards parts of yourself. Like the jealousy you feel, or the resentment you hold. When in truth this is just as much part of you.
Now, this doesn’t in any way mean that we go on being jealous and become violent and hateful towards the world. If you can actually openly, without judging or feeling the need to change, see who you are you will not do any harm. Why?
Because it is not separate from us, it is us, and realizing that it is us, we see how it is destroying the beauty of living if we act upon it, therefore we no longer act upon it and create violence. We just see it within us, recognize its part in us, and love it for what it is. Which means neither accepting nor denying it. You are silent, and in that silence, you have full and complete action.
You recognize how insane it would be if you’d act upon those violent emotions like anger, or sadness. So instead of acting upon them, you recognize them, see them as part of you, yet also realize that they are never lasting emotions. They come and go, just like any other part of you.
It means who you are right now is life happening in its totality, and all of that should be loved, and all of that should be fully experienced as it is. This is total and complete freedom of the idea of the self. You are, and no more. You are alive in this present moment. Completely.
How Can We Be
Now the final question remains, how can we be who we really are? And with that set ourselves free from all conditions, beliefs, ideas, concepts, and all the rest of it that we think we are or will be. To be a pure being, and see the tremendous beauty of being alive through that.
It is very simple. We see and observe, without any division whatsoever. We observe everything we are with all our senses fully in the here and now. By this subtle yet disciplined attention to what is and observing it with all our senses, the thoughts we have over it will dissolve.
We cannot possibly think whilst focusing on all our senses and experience what is. A quick example of that would be, if you’d feel angry, fully feeling it would mean you use all your senses. You’d feel the physical sensation happening, you’d smell, taste, and listen to what was happening. You’d see how the anger is influencing all of this, including the way you see the world.
Through that total observance of what is, and who you are right now, you will naturally realize the insanity of trying to control this and trying to change it. By fully being aware of what is happening you will see the insanity of being angry, and because of that, you will free yourself from it.
By observing anger fully you can not think about being angry, cause that is an idea. You can only feel what it is, and that feeling is an experience that will make you feel more alive.
See who you are, fully, without thought, there is tremendous beauty in that. You’ll realize that life as it is, is beautiful. Holds so much magic, and whatever you are experiencing you love it.
I have realized that even when I felt angry or any of the emotions I previously would condemn, and try to rid myself of, are beautiful. The action that comes from it is violent, so I don’t act upon it. But the physical experience of anger is highly stimulating, and at the same time very brief if you fully feel it.
Therefore if you fully feel it, it will instantly be free. It will leave. Leaving you empty, and aware of the present. That emptiness, of letting go of who you are, and just being alive, will create a vast space for life to play out. To express itself through you, and that is love. That is love in its essence, for which we don’t do anything but be.
You, as you are, that’s beauty. I hope you can realize this, I hope you can observe yourself this way. I hope you see that by living, just living, you will say Today I Lived. There is nothing you’d need to do for that, in order to say I made the most of it.