This is you.
Take away the belongings and clothing that we often mistake as our identity.
Take away the hairstyles, the nailstyles, the tattoos and jewelry.
Take away the societal ‘shoulds’. What you should look like, act like, feel like, be more of.
Take away all the labels that were taught to you by other labeled humans.
Take away any connotations associated by the color of your skin, the condition of your body, the size of your features.
Take away all the limiting beliefs that society has drilled into you.
This is who you’d be.
You’d just be you.
Why does this real you matter?
It matters because there is still someone there beneath all the labels and belongings and thoughts.
It is so important to know that you are not really these things.
Your age, weight, appearance, place of origin, accomplishments, and so on, are just things that help you identify your place amidst 7.5 billion other humans. Most of those things are arbitrary — you were born in a certain place & time, and contain a particular set of genetics.
Underneath all those descriptives is a human individual in a galaxy-ocean of infinite possibilities. You are not stuck. You are not confined.
This is who you really are.
But let’s come back to you in the real world.
You’ve already got commitments, histories, belief systems, hopes & dreams, a path.
To question these things, even just a tiny bit, can feel scary because it requires taking something you’ve known for a long time, and playing around with it.
And when we start to look at and consciously choose what we want for ourselves, things begin to modulate. We start to see differently and act differently. We slowly begin to change.
It may feel uncomfortable & crazy at first. Others may not like it. Things may appear to fall apart before they start to come together.
This is why it’s seems easier to remain in our nest of distractions: our belongings, physical embellishments, dramas and judgements, food & vices of choice, social media & entertainment.
It’s socially acceptable to tune out whenever we start to feel uncomfortable.
We rely on the external to provide for us what we should be finding within ourselves.
This is why we can be so ‘rich’ with experiences, stimulations and comfort, yet still feel that underlying negative emotional cocktail: desperation mixed with anxiety, topped with a splash of occasional depression, and garnished with a big juicy slice of existential crisis.
And that’s when we think we need to escape further. Move to an island. Move to a city. Get completely sober. Do ayahuasca. And sometimes that’s just what we need. But sometimes that would cause more problems, if what we’re really trying to escape is ourselves.
The answer to feeling good lies in getting to know your real self.
You are still you, whether you’re celebrating the materialistic-material life, or in a monastery meditating on letting go of the need to let go.
No matter what your lifestyle, you are still a complete human surrounded by the joys and conflicts of an awesome modern world.
You can learn to tune into yourself in the middle of whatever kind of life you’re living right now.
You can have your fun, your belongings, your style, your distractions; and start to become more engaged with who you really are inside.
That ball of light is your inner self, your truth, your self-knowledge. The person you’ve been with and will be with for the rest of your days. When we get to know this person, we get to have more of that light.
It just feels good.
Without having to immediately change anything, go anywhere, buy anything. You can be the thoroughly-modern version of your most expressive, fully-living self.
The first step is realizing you’re already who you really are. Everything you need to know is already inside.
You don’t have to escape or distract.
All we need to learn are new ways of understanding ourselves and the world, and then we can begin to put it into practice and live our best lives.