Spirituality

is3Have you ever thought about who you are?

Who you really are?

What you stand for?

I’m not talking about your roles or social identities.

You can be a friend, brother/sister, employee, boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, partner, father/mother, son/daughter,  all at the same time, but these are just an aspect of you.

They don’t represent who you , the true you, the inner you.

Your inner self is who you really are on the inside.

To know your inner self is to know your purpose, your values, your visions, your motivations, your goals and your beliefs.

is1Not as what you have been told by others, but what you have discovered for yourself.

Knowing your inner self requires a high level of introspection and self-awareness.

If you have clarity to at least half of what is listed above, you probably hold quite a high level of self-awareness. At the same time, the process of discovery never ends, it’s a life-long journey.

Your true self

Trying to uncover your inner self can be a tricky process. For one, you hold multiple identities in your life, each with their own sets of socially defined values, visions, expectations, etc. These may not directly conform with what you represent.

 

is2For every identity, you have a set of purpose/values/visions/motivations/goals/beliefs which are not entirely the same as your inner self’s.

Because everyone is unique, your real self can’t be boxed in by any single identity or label.

You are much more than your public persona.

The inner me is someone who cannot simply be defined or labeled by any one label.

A good analogy to use would be the sunflower.

Your inner self is like the bulb of the sunflower (the center part where petals are attached to).

Your identities are like the petals around your inner self.

While the petals are extensions of the head, they are not the head.

Similarly, your identities are extensions of yourself, but they do not represent who you are wholly.

Your Inner Self

is7If you have never given much thought about your inner self, it is likely you have become defined a lot by your identities.

Commonly  people see themselves as a certain role, such as a friend, partner, employee, son/daughter, and so on. Some spend their whole lives building themselves around such identities.

Take those identities away, and they get totally lost, because they have a low awareness of who they are on the inside.

These people are not be able to articulate his/her own visions, goals and dreams beyond what have been imposed by his/her identities.

For example, someone who is entrenched in his identity as a son will see his entire existence as a son. He will act in accordance with what’s best for his parents.

He will spend a lot of time with his parents, do things for his parents, forsake other things in his life if it’s needed to make them happy.

When it comes to making important decisions, such as career or life partner, he makes sure his parents are in approval before he takes any action. His parents are the central focus of his life.

However, his real self is more than just being a son to his parents.

is8If his parents are to ever exit from his life, he will be in a state of total loss.

His life will start spiraling out of control since the anchor he has been building his life on so far is gone.

It’s like when the bulb of the sunflower disappears, all the petals will scatter away randomly since there is nothing to hold them together.

When you become overly attached to any one of your identities, you run into the risk of an identity crisis when that particular identity is removed.

That’s why it’s important to find your inner self. You are the owner of your own life and you live your life for yourself. This life is one that’s defined by you, not what is defined by your roles or identities.

If you are not connected with who you really are, you are probably just living your life for others. Pursuing others’ goals, living up to others’ expectations and projections of you, rather than what you really want.

To know your inner self is the first step of living a conscious life of your making.

Self-Awareness

is5It is perfectly okay if you don’t know your inner self.

Discovering and unraveling it is a life long process.

Discovering however your true inner self , your spirit, you awaken within you the true you, the first step to true enlightenment

Here are some steps which I found to be useful in uncovering my inner self:

  • Continuously learning and growing
  • Putting myself in unknown contexts to spike my learning curve
  • Constant introspection
  • Looking beyond what I’m told to discover what I want for myself
  • Listening to my gut feeling when it arises
  • Meditation on a daily basis is the key to finding your true self.

As you uncover more of your inner self, you will probably find your identities do not match to your inner self.

There’s a conflict between who you really are and who you are expected to be. If that’s the case, it’s fine. It’s a first step to have already discovered who you are.

The next step is to live in alignment with your inner self, as best as you can, within the situation.

At the same time, start making long term plans toward ultimately living in full alignment with your inner self.

 

Focus on finding your inner self, then start living in alignment with it. That’s when you start to live a conscious life.