Margaret Jang is a Reiki Master Teacher & Practitioner, Numerologist, Intuitive, and a Spiritual/Inspirational Poet & Writer. She currently resides in Vancouver, BC and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website www.margaretjang.com.
I am certain that this is a very confusing or frustrating issue that at some point in your life has confronted you.
Who are you, really? It's a simple, but complex question. Many may be unwilling to delve further, scoffing that this is a silly, useless question, after-all, of course they know who they are. While others may identify themselves through their name, position, title, material possessions, social status, gender, size, ethnic background, group affiliation or religious affiliation. But if you dig deeper and open your awareness, this is not who you really or truly are.
From the time you grasped understanding, your parents, teachers, friends, employers and society encoded or conditioned within you ideas of what you should or shouldn't do, what you should or shouldn't be, who you should or shouldn't associate with or how you should or shouldn't behave. Think back to when you were growing up and most of you will admit this to be true. Supposedly, the guidance that was given to you was done in your best interest, but unless you are extremely lucky, eventually you may reach a stage in which you start questioning your true reality.
So how do you identify who you really are? First, you must open yourself to honest scrutiny by analyzing different aspects of yourself objectively. And to do this constructively, you must do it as a total individual, free from the confines and the opinions of others. Sometimes this means that you will need to hibernate for awhile or detach yourself from family and friends or remove yourself from the social life that you have established and are comfortable with. While you may believe that it is better to do this exercise within a group environment, at this stage it is not in your best interest to receive outside influence, because it will distort you own evaluation. Remember, you have been influenced, one way or another all your life, but now it is time to break this cycle. And no kidding, it does take considerable courage and strength, as well as persistence to follow this through.
You need to discover yourself intimately and this will encompass uncovering aspects of the inner you and then asking and answering questions from your heart or soul level. So get out your pen and paper or type into a computer and be prepared to do some work. As you ask each question, focus your attention between your heart and navel, or if you understand the chakras, focus on your heart and solar plexus. As you focus on these areas, be aware of the feelings you receive, the thoughts that you receive, symbols that you receive, odours that you smell, sounds that you hear or visions that you see - these are your intuitive senses working to your benefit. Or you can think of it as your powerful internal radar system, so pay attention and don't try to over-analyze or edit what you receive. Immediately write what you receive, as you receive it, without wondering whether your imagination is running wild.
Here are some questions to ask yourself, but feel free to add to the list. What are your likes and dislikes? What makes you feel guilty and why? Do you feel depressed and why? Do you feel angry or bitter - at you, at others, at society and why? Do you play the blame game and why? Are you responsible to yourself and others? How and why do you react in a certain manner? What motivates you? Are you lazy? Are you disciplined? What gives you simple pleasure? What makes you unhappy? What are you naturally drawn to? What irritates you? What are you greatest fears and why? What are your desires or ambitions? What are your unique talents or gifts? What gives you passion and why? Do you feel stuck and why? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you independent? Do you rely on others for guidance? Are you co-dependent in relationships? Do you feel comfortable and safe being by yourself? What are your hobbies and what feelings do they give you? Do you feel bored and why? Do you feel special and why? Do you love yourself unconditionally? Do you feel successful and what do you define as being successful? Do you feel you need to fit in or be part of a group and why? Do you like working indoors or do you prefer outdoors? Are you a city dweller or do you prefer a quiet country setting? Do you like working alone or as a team player? Do you like travelling on tours or off the beaten path? What do you feel connected to spiritually? Do you feel that you are part of nature? Do you question what gives you life? Are you compassionate? Are you sincere? Are you honest and trustworthy? Are you conniving, controlling or manipulative? What is your contribution for the improvement of humanity? Yes, the questions seem endless, but the more you can answer honestly, the better chance you have to find who you truly are.
The whole idea is to strip each layer away, part by part to see if you can notice any glaring connections or similarities and then to rebuild yourself by only adding back what feels right or comfortable to you. By doing this you will naturally induce radical lifestyle changes, so be prepared to change. Forget what you have learned in the past, forget about what you have been conditioned to do and forget about worrying about what may be expected of you by others. If you cannot accept yourself completely and lovingly, then you are not who you really think you are. You should always feel comfortable and proud with the image that you see staring back at you in the mirror. So if you lack this cozy feeling, then it is time to take action, for only you have the power to change your life and your living circumstances.
If you are not used to being by yourself, then you need to practice doing this each day. Choose a time when you can separate yourself emotionally, as well as physically from others and establish boundaries that will be honoured by all. Avoid thinking that this is self-indulgent or being selfish. Instead, in your private time, you will build and affirm your authenticity. After-all, when you are alone, you don't have to account to anyone else, plus you are not challenged by anyone else. So use this time to meditate, read, write, invent, create, paint, listen to music, pamper yourself or just do enjoyable things geared for you. Be totally aware of how you feel, what you think and how you respond, then journalize your daily experiences, for this will help track your progress, plus it will cement your focus and intentions. Over time, you will not only open up to who you truly are, but you will also grow into who you truly are. What an exhilarating revelation!
As you strip away your layers, try to establish your true loves. What do you love doing the most or what gives you complete and utter passion? When you are in your proper element, you will feel totally at ease, entirely at peace, completely contented and time will slip away without realization. You will feel an inner drive so strong that it is impossible to ignore. What drives you will have no bearing on monetary gain or value; it goes far beyond that, because it comes from your heart and soul. These are also valid clues to who you truly are. But of course you must still maintain balance, making sure that your passion doesn't become a workaholic dream. And to monitor this, pay close attention to signs and signals from your body. If imbalances display as physical symptoms such as aches, pain, headache, high blood pressure, skin rashes, etc., without just cause, then re-evaluate to adjust your schedule accordingly, but just be sure not to ignore the situation completely.
Of course going through this exercise can be a very challenging task, but it is also well worth your effort, because the rewards are unmatched by anything that you presently know or have experienced. Your life will become truly independent and authentic, in which you will possess an inner power that will enrich you with personal freedom - the freedom to be and do as you wish. It will feel as if ten tons of weight has been lifted from your shoulders. You will feel no fear and you will be empowered to live your life with unbridled joy, love, compassion and peace, for you will be living in your truth.
And back to the original question of who you really are? Well, you are also spirit - a powerful vibrating energy being, with an eternal soul, who is part of and connected to everything that you see around you, including your universal source. This should give you more incentive and better reason to appreciate and respect all animate and inanimate objects, as well as all living beings, including yourself.