What chance is there to discover the final Truth? Here, with me, every chance, because I don’t accept you in the way you present yourself. This self-portrait I disregard. It is a poor work of art or heart. You want to be here as Miss and Mr Sannyasin, Miss and Mr Hormone, Miss and Mr Spiritual, Miss and Mr Special, Miss and Mr Chosen, Miss and Mr Yogi… I am sorry… not here. I have no space for you. Try again another time. When you run out of titles, come back. But who will take this risk?
Realistically how we see ourselves, how we see others and how others see us is all an illusion. There are so many different sides to us that it is entirely impossible to have a clear view of who we actually are.
We have multitude personalities and the world we live in is constantly changing. This places demands on us to fit into different categories depending on the situation we are in.
Otherwise, there is the possibility of being judged, talked about and maybe even excluded from whatever social group we wish to belong in.
“How often, you wonder, has the direction of your life been shaped by such misunderstandings? How many opportunities have you been denied—or, for that matter, awarded—because someone failed to see you properly? How many friends have you lost, how many have you gained, because they glimpsed some element of your personality that shone through for only an instant, and in circumstances you could never reproduce?”
~ Kevin Brockmeier, The View from the Seventh Layer
So, it happens that we become a figment of our own imagination. A constantly changing chameleon, whose shades alter to suit its environment.
Everything changes from financial circumstances to work commitments or an intimate relationship— all these can affect the way we feel moment-to-moment on the inside. So who we thought we were this morning, may be a totally different person to who we think we are by the evening.
“We create the illusions we need to go on. And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty. The light is liberating. Necessary. Terrifying. We stand naked and emptied before it. And when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to shield us from its relentless truth.”
~ Libba Bray
Our mind is constructed in such a way to enable us to build a sense of self based on experiences and memories.
We are able to learn so much about ourselves through interaction with others. Some people manage to push buttons whilst others can have a calming influence. Each experience leads us to discover new things about ourselves, which helps to shape who we think we are.
Often we are not consciously aware that there are changes happening within. Thought processes can occur without us paying any attention to them whatsoever.
The simplest way to truly see our self more clearly is learning to live fully present in the moment.
A study carried out by Clinical Psychological Science published details of their findings in the new Association for Pyschological Science journal. They found that that when we are present in the moment we tend not to overthink, overreact or get lost in our problems. We deal with things with a clearer head and this gives us greater clarity and awareness, meaning that are much more objective and calm in handling situations.
When we begin to let go of all that we think we are, we have taken the first major step. We also need to remember to leave behind all the old emotional baggage that we carry, unnecessarily, on our shoulders. When we do this, we open ourselves up to authentically being who we actually are.
When we are fully present, we cease to judge not only ourselves but others too; we trust our instincts and we also take control of our actions and reactions.
By not allowing our ego influence us, and instead just allowing ourselves to be, we will soon discover a much more realistic vision of who we are. Not only that, but, we will also see other people much more clearly too. This allows us to naturally see everything for what it is, rather than whatever we are projecting out onto it.
It is not always easy to remain in the present moment and it is so tempting to flip from past, present, future and back again. At times of stress or difficulties, it becomes even harder. However, these are the times we most need to be present. By giving our mind a gentle jolt, we can very easily snap back to the present, where we will instantly find a release in any anxiety or tension that was surrounding us.
Simple mantras and meditations can very quickly ground us enabling us to easily transcend to being present. Something as simple as just thinking about the words “be present” can be all that is required.
One thing that we cannot change is the mindset of those around us. It can be very frustrating to see how others judge us, especially those closest to us. This is something that we have no control over and we must remember that they too have their own life experiences, conditioning and unique thinking. All we can do is try to be the truest version of ourselves possible, stay present, mindful and by doing so our inner self will radiate outward.
The more present and mindful we are in all our thoughts and actions, the likelier it is that we will be viewed for who we are. The most important thing though is not how others see us, it’s how we see ourselves.
Learning to be our genuine selves and love who we are is something that is not always easy, however, living in the present moment, regardless of what it has to offer us, is the simplest thing to do. It happens in an instant, the very moment we nudge our minds from the outer, past and present, to within.
Living in the moment shatters our illusions and we can then begin to get to know ourselves for the very first time.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Alex Sandra Myles
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Benjamin Balazs/Flickr