Archive for February, 2012

To see things as they are is to know yourself. Knowing yourself is more than looking into a mirror and seeing your reflection. It is more than simply identifying characteristics or traits that are linked to your daily routine or habits. Those things may be part of who you are, but they are not all of who and what you are.

To know yourself means that you know, and understand, the nature of yourself and the things around you. Only one who knows herself can truly, genuinely be herself.

To know yourself means that you understand your nature and its relationship with all that is around you. When you meditate, you begin to see that you are not quite as separate from the things that surround you as you might think. You realize that you are very much a part of your surroundings – as much as you realize that your surroundings are very much a part of you.

It is not always easy to be yourself. It requires taking a moment to breathe in, and breathe out; to take in your surroundings; and to feel your skin and the beating of your heart. You recognize that all of these things are with you, part of you, just as they always have been. It is easy to lose sight of this awareness — to get lost in perceptions that are not in keeping with the true nature of things. I have often struggled with my perception of my relationship with those around me. I have felt anxiety and a pressure within me to entertain others and hold their attention in some unique way. I believe that this anxiety and pressure stems from a feeling or perception that people are separate from me. They are unique individuals, that is true, but they are also a part of me and I am a part of them. We are all a part of everything!

Our ego causes us to see things differently than they really are. Ego causes us to see ourselves as separate from our surroundings. We may feel that we are better than others in some way. We may snub them or ignore them and act as though the world revolves around us. Or we may feel that others are better than us, causing us to be racked with anxiety at the thought of disappointing them or embarrassing ourselves. Both perceptions are misconceptions that stem from our ego of being separate, or the only one in the universe. Both perceptions cause us to be separated, in our minds, from others. As a result, we also lose sight of ourselves.

Looking only at ego, rather than our true nature, we miss out on the true experience of life. It is as though we are ignoring reality and, instead, opting to decipher it by looking at it through a rusty, warped carnival mirror. We see what we think is reality, but it is only a misshapen representation of the real thing. The result of our attention to ego is that we get further and further away from ourselves… until we might even get to the point where we completely lose sight of who we truly are. Our true self is lost in the din of the ego — unable to find its expression in our hearts, minds, words, and actions.

These misconceptions melt away when we come back to ourselves. When we step back, take in the air, and sit quietly in meditation, listening to the hum of the universe in and around us, we come back to ourselves. We open the door to the true expression of ourselves, giving it room to surface again. We clear away the clutter of our thoughts and perceptions and find peace in the miracle that is life. People around us are no longer separate. They are no longer beneath us, nor are they intimidatingly larger than life.

There is no need to be nervous or anxious about who and what you are. Seeing things as they are, you see the nature of all things. You are free, at last, to be yourself — genuinely and joyfully. It is through meditation (sitting, walking, standing, singing, reading, skipping, working, exercising, eating… however you may mindfully go about your life) that you will be able to discover who you are. When you know who you are, only then can you truly be yourself.


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