Who Are You?
Many of my clients realize on short order after our initial consultation that they don’t know the answer to this crucial question: Who am I?
They answer with some version of, “I don’t know who I am, not anymore.” Or even, “I’ve never really known who I am; I’ve always been what I thought other people wanted me to be.” They want greater bravery but find themselves feeling empty, unclear and weak.
Does this sound at all like you? If so, I empathize. I’ve been there too.
How can we be braver if we don’t know who we are?
You Are Not Who Others Think You Are
Many of us want to make other important people in our lives happy, such as our spouses, parents, children, professors, or employers.
But living for others morphs us into chameleons, and we become some version of what we think these people want us to be. This an inauthentic way to live; we wear various false masks of persona, and it’s eventually frustrating to all. Besides, we can’t control what others think.
Trying to be anything other than ourselves prevents us from discovering who we truly are.
You Are Not Your Situation
Right now, you’re probably figuring out how to get through a difficulty, make a transition, find greater happiness, achieve inner peace, or change something.
You may feel stuck primarily because of this dilemma: not knowing who you truly are. This only exacerbates the challenge you’re facing. Many of us believe that our circumstances define us, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You are not your situation; it’s just a combination of the circumstances occurring in your world at this moment in time.
You Are Not Stuck in Time
Who we are is not registered in clock time.
We exist both in this moment and simultaneously in the otherness of all that Is, where time is merely a concept, not a reality. We are most connected to Source, God, or Nature in the present moment, not in time-based reality. Here in this dimension, our vision is limited; what’s real is seen “through a glass darkly,” and we sometimes have to squint to understand. As humans, we have an obscure vision of truth. Removing the veil as much as we can is part of our work here, and it is work because knowing who we truly are takes surrender, diligence, and commitment.
Surrender into Seeing Who You Are and What Is
Surrender to what? Surrender into a new way of seeing.
When we let go of our previous understanding of who we are, or even our past not-knowing, we can then shift into truer perception with openhearted awareness,. By relinquishing who we thought we were, we enter the Now, escorted by cognizance of what Is and how these challenging circumstances are not our whole life. We go beyond mirrors, titles, designations, outside of what others say about us, away from social media profiles, into a newer, truer way of viewing ourselves and our situation. This shift in view occurs when we’re connected with the infinite universe. Knowledge of who we are is relieving and invigorating when we surrender into being with what Is and when we adopt the keen-sighted view that accompanies this. Living in the Now is living awake; we release ourselves from attachments to former perceptions. We are freed from the future we thought we wanted. We accept what Is, and with that acceptance comes a new level of peace.
You Are Your Essence
The good news amidst your difficulties is that the answer to “Who am I?”
is not only right in front of your very eyes; it’s always inside of you. You are your Essence. Who you are is a constant, not only a being whom you can get to know and befriend, but also a wonderful shining self who will guide you and never leave you. Your Essence has answers to your dilemmas, offers hope for your pain, and wants to tell you about them. Your Essence is your loving, graceful, assertive personal teacher for the bravery you want to learn.
Your Essence may feel unfamiliar, but it is your truest self, your most real and authentic being. Your Essence is you in all your youness. It’s your energy, your guide, your inner light. It’s the seeing, observing part of you. Some call it your Inner Being, the Seer, the Observer, or the Knower* since it is the beingness part of us that sees without judgment, that observes without fear, that knows without any false story or projection into the past or future. I call it our Essence, because it is the hub of all the aspects of who we are.
Your Essence Wants to “Friend” You
Our essence is constantly trying to engage us, to have a “relationship” with us, from our human perspective.
But that relationship is really simply a knowing, a connection. We don’t need to develop a relationship with that which we presently are, because the association already exists. Since our Essence wants to “friend” us and join with our personality and the other parts of us, the practice we must begin cultivating is spending time with our Essence. This is how we remember and know who we are. We use our minds and focus, going within to the Seer, to the Observer, to who we truly are.
You Are Not Your Thoughts, Emotions, or Body
Most of us overidentify with our minds, emotions, or bodies.
But we are not our thoughts; they are just how we take in, sort and store information. Our thoughts inform us and help us remember things, but they pass. They change. We are not our emotions either; feelings are important, yet they are simply how we experience and process what happens to us. We are not our fears or our limitations; we’re not our worries or our sadness. We’re not even our bodies. Our bodies are the wonderful containers we’re given in this life that hold our thoughts, emotions, and Essence, but they will age and slowly decline.
Day to day, our thoughts change, our emotions pass, and our bodies transition. But our Essence is our unchanging self. It’s the part of us that is connected to others and to something greater than ourselves: to Nature, to God, to the Universe, or to the Source. Our Essence has been with us our entire life, inside of us, keeping us going. It is the source of love and peace within us. It is the origin of our strength and faith. It is the powerful Is-ness of our very being, the source of our life and breath. Our Essence is the magic that keeps our brains going and our hearts beating.
You Are Golden
Put simply, our Essence is our goldenness.
It’s our tangible vibrancy, our shine. Our Essence is the place from which our personality emerges, inside somewhere between our belly and our heart. Take a moment now, please. Place your two hands on those spots: your belly and your heart. Breathe into and out from your Essence. Closing your eyes, connect with your shining inner being. Continue with mindful breaths, merging with your Essence. See your shining light like sparkles on moving water.
You are golden, and you always have been. Goldenness is our very nature. We were born shining from our inner being, each and every one of us, and our energy radiates with a warm glow. Every human being has this innate beauty! It is our beingness. We’re connected to God, to the Universe, to Source, to Nature, to the stars. It’s our nature to glisten like rays of sunshine or twinkling lights.
Processing or discussing the golden Essence of who we are can be difficult with our minds and limited words. It’s may be best conveyed by the language of music, art, and photography. Words struggle to convey the complexity of our true nature or of the universe—although we do try. How can we speak to the beauty and power of humanness? We all know the feeling of listening to a poignant song or viewing a photograph or art piece. Creative expression does it best.
Who and what is the real you, then? It’s your Essence, the magic that sparked your you-ness into being at birth. The real you is the mystical Inner Being that has been with you all of your days, and it is the energy that will stay with you throughout your entire life—into death and beyond. You think you own a house or rent an apartment, and that is where you live, right? Certainly. But you have another home, one that will never change, and you don’t have to decorate or renovate it. Your Essence is your true home.
Your True Home
You can always go inside to your safe haven.
In doing so, you connect with the deepest wisdom and bravery you have available to you! Our Essence is the hub of everything that matters to us: it connects with and fuels all the other parts of us that offer answers: our thoughts, our emotions, our intuition, and our bodies. Since our Essence is our true home, it is directly linked to our home in the universe, to what is greater than us (God, Source, the Universe, or Nature). We are never alone. And we are always home. Since we are energy and live in a universe filled with energy, we are forever connected to our outer and inner homes. The only thing we need to do is to step into our Essence to find safety, protection, and strength. The lostness will dissipate over time as we become more familiar with our Essence.
Our Essence is in constant communication with our feelings and is in diligent communion with our bodies and minds. It feeds our intuition. When we know our Essence, we know what we know. It’s the direct link to our wisdom, which is the source of our conscious bravery, and our Essence provides the inspiration to carry it out. Bravery emerges more freely and easily when we are connected to our Essence.
You are a beautiful being, my friend. You shimmer and shine with golden light.
When my sons were little, I used to tell them, “I love you more than God loves anyone.” Of course, I said this tongue in cheek. God loves us infinitely. But I wanted to convey that deep love in a tangible way to them. You know what’s true? That God loves you that big. Infinitely. You shine like a lighthouse.
That’s who you are, a deeply loved, shining, sparkling being. You are thoroughly known and seen by your Essence, which is connected to the glorious, mysterious, and expanding Source of everything that Is.
Are you beginning to know who you are?
You’re Not What You Do. You’re Who You Are.
We’re not what we do. We’re not what we give either, nor are we the result of any of our accomplishments.
Accomplishments indicate our capabilities, skills, talents, and hard work, but they are not who we really are. Our true selves are not attached to our looks, our money, our possessions, or our achievements. Our personalities are not who we are either; that also emerges from our Essence. Who we are is a Be-ing, a light, a shining energy source that can face any difficulties we encounter and outlast any crises we meet.
You Are Beautiful
Our Essence threads everything we are together in a beautiful tapestry: our bodies, minds, hearts, and intuition make one gorgeous work of art.
Our Essence organizes distinct patterns that make us unique. Who we are has a lovely signature, a beautiful, intricate design that makes us each like a kaleidoscope image. Know this: there is no one like you, and there never will be. In all of the universe, there is only one powerful, resourceful you. There will never be another like you. In this uniqueness, you glimmer like a wonderous snowflake.
In the famous poem “Song of Myself,” poet Walt Whitman wrote page after page about his fascination with and admiration of his own self, his whole body. It’s a testimony to our ability to love ourselves as we are, with unconditional reverence for all of our being empowered by our Essence.
Why Does This Matter?
We simply want to feel better in our lives, right?
To know who we are and overcome doubts, correct? Why, then, does any of this matter? It matters because what we want does not lie in our circumstances, because who we are is separate from them. We will never solve our problems in our minds. The answers to our challenges won’t be found in other people nor will they be found in our situations.
The answers we seek will come from the wisdom and guidance of our Essence. Since who we are is limitless, it’s easier to be brave every day because circumstances are mere events. They are simply our situations, not our realities. Our sense of being lost is temporary. How can we be lost when there is no place to go but where we are? We are always near the light. Darkness and lostness are experiences and feelings, never permanent realities.
The lostness or emptiness we often feel comes partly from not knowing who we are. That feeling in the pit of our stomachs that something isn’t right frequently arises from a disconnection with our true self, our Essence. How can things feel right when we don’t know the rightness of our very being? Without a strong and frequent connection to our Essence, we will forever feel a bit empty, insignificant, ineffective, meaningless, or doubtful. Doubt, then, is more easily overcome with certainty about our beingness, our true self. When we know more of who we are, we doubt less. With less doubt, we step into our bravery.
You Are You
The immediate reply to the question “Who am I?” emerges from within, from that sacred space where you connect with your own Essence, the powerful guide who will lead you to the answers you seek. Who are you? You are you.
Recommendation: Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now; and Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul.