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Finding Your True Self

Who am I? Who are you? It’s a question for the ages, and one that anyone contemplating and examine their life inevitably tries to answer. I’ve been asking this question since I can remember. I’ve never felt fully comfortable in my skin, or in my head. Finding my true self has always been a mystery.

Since I started a mediation practice a few years ago, I’ve started to learn how to be present by sitting still and breathing. Guided meditations help, not just as a reminder to stay focused, but to help me uncover and learn about the nature of consciousness.

Your True Self Is Right Here

Most recently, I listened to a series of mediations called “The Headless Way” by Richard Long (available inside the Waking Up app from Sam Harris.) Sam has been talking about being headless for a while but it never really connected for me. This latest series, however, with eight different short mediations was a masterclass in being headless. And it’s such a trip!

I was so far off base in “looking” for myself it’s sort of laughable. I ha been searching outside myself for validation of who I am, and who I should strive to be. Successful at business. Good friend. In-shape. Confident. Skilled. Smart. Credentialed. The list is endless, and also, filled only with external things. You know… homeowner, drive a nice car and wear nice things.

There Is No Little Man Inside Me Driving My Body Around

What has become evident to me is that my true self is not “out there.” My true self is not a little man running around the inside of my brain pulling levers and operating my body. Instead, my true self is something far greater. Something ephemeral. Incorporeal. It’s not inside my body.

And if my true self is not inside my body, that means it must somehow be outside my body. External. The truth I’ve uncovered is that my true self is not my body. Not inside my head. My true self is still, and quiet. It is fully present and unchanging. My true self is perfect. It has always been here, and will always be here. My true self doesn’t care about a fancy haircut, or expensive shoes because those things are just appearances – they aren’t real.

Admittedly, this feels strange. And woo-woo. But I’m positive I’ve tapped into something important. If nothing else, it is another signpost my journey is on the right path, regardless of how far along I am. The quest to discover my true self is on!


Am I Destined to be Happy?

Sometimes it feels as if there is no way to actually be “happy.” But lately, as I continue on this journey it strikes me as a poorly worded question.

Is being happy a destination? And if it is, would you be able to stay there forever? Would you even want to? I mean, sometimes it feels good to feel bad. I’ve met people who appear to always be happy, and I’m always left with sense that it’s mostly bullshit.

Instead of thinking as happy as some sort of goal, or destination I prefer to think about it differently as of late.

Happy is:

  • creating, writing and thinking
  • debating, learning and growing
  • embracing the process of writing this blog as often as I can and enjoying the challenge of communicating what’s inside of me
  • facing the resistance head on
  • meditating every morning and being terrible at it
  • seeing a movie and going to dinner with my wife, and talking about our amazing children

But all those things are temporary. They start, and they end. It feels like a cliché, but it may turn out to be true that the journey is the thing. Being happy while struggling is a new way to look at the world for me, and there is something wonderful, poetic and amazing about it.