You Cannot Form A True Identity On Unstable Foundations
“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” — Thomas Merton
When we connect with the core our being, we merge with the Truth of our core self. This self is not obscured by labels or limiting beliefs about who it should be, because it knows how to survive in the world. This self is your true essence and because we dissociate from it, we lose our way. But you can never become lost when you are tied to universal intelligence. We ought to find time for silence because without regular silence we are caught up in the outside world and get distracted by the external noise. Worse still, we move into our heads and listen to the stream of incessant thoughts which occupy space in our minds. I’m not suggesting we ignore our thoughts, rather our thoughts have little to offer us by way of who we are. They are labels, ideas and impressions we pick up along the way during our life’s journey. But just as a GPS device, they tell us no more of who we are if we are not connected to a satellite or use the wrong map.
To reveal our authentic self we must learn to let go of ideas instead of accumulate more. Consider a hoarder who buys collectables without selling existing items. Soon enough his space is packed full of items and he cannot move around until he frees up additional space. Our minds are the same. It is full of thoughts, that it becomes a distorted representation of the nature of reality. I use distorted in the kindest possible sense to show it being obscured from seeing the truth. Consider the following tale and notice what comes up for you: A long time ago, there was a wise Zen master. People from far and near sought his counsel for his wisdom to become enlighten in the way of Zen. He seldom turned any away. One day an important man of command and obedience came to visit the master. “I have come today to ask you to teach me about Zen. Open my mind to enlightenment.” The tone of the important man’s voice was accustomed to getting his own way.
The Zen master smiled and said they should discuss the matter over a cup of tea. When the tea is served the master poured the visitor a cup. He continued to pour until the tea overflowed the rim of the cup and spilled over onto the robes of the man. Finally the visitor shouted: “Enough. You are spilling the tea all over. Can’t you see the cup is full?” The master stopped pouring and smiled at his guest. “You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back when the cup and your mind are empty.” Like the important man visiting the wise Zen master, he cannot gain more information when his mind is full. Letting go of our stories, ideas and beliefs is not easy because we fear we will lose our identity if we do so. If you believe that to be true, you have built an identity on shaky ground. You cannot form a true identity on unstable foundations, for that is equivalent to building a house on sand hoping it won’t sink into the ground. That’s why we must gradually abandon our perceptions of life to replace them with the truth.
Your Soul Knows The Best Passage For Your Life’s Journey
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ― C.G. Jung
It may take an entire lifetime to awaken our authentic self, which is concealed by the weight of past conditioning. However, it is better to live an authentic life than imprisoned as someone you pretend to be. In her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing author Bronnie Ware states the following as the five regrets:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
The number one regret of the dying is to have lived a more authentic life and not live according to the wishes of others. Depending on your circumstances, you still have time to chart a new course while striving to live from the heart. The mind will lead you so far, while the heart with its infinite wisdom will direct you on a journey of self-discovery. Contained within this self-discovery is the journey to awaken you to your authentic self. Author Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist: “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
The heart is the seat of the soul and since your soul is infinite, it knows the best passage for your life’s journey. Soulful living is an invitation to live beyond the material world and be led by your heart’s wisdom. You will not be led astray if you follow your heart. Heart-based or soulful living is the awakening of your authentic self. Once you awaken this loving kindness within, you cannot never go back to living your former ways. Like a gradual awakening of the heart, you will experience life through the eyes of a child, because you now see life through an awakened mind, instead of an overflowing cup. As you follow your heart, it will lead you to destinations and experiences infinitely orchestrated for your personal evolution.