One of the main reasons why so many people miss out on the exquisite experience of their conscious awareness is that they’re having an identity crisis.
Quite simply, they think they are someone or something they’re not. They think they are the voice in their head and, as a result, rely on what it says too heavily for defining who they are and what they’re capable of. They think they are what they are feeling emotionally. They think they are their body, having identified with it from an early age. Or they think they are their relationship status, job title, religious affiliation or the long list of other labels that they’ve found to help define who they are.
It is normal to be on the search to find meaning from all of the potential sources listed above. Whether aware of it or not, there’s a big chance that you, too, have been exploring the answer to life’s big question: Who am I? Without guidance it is extremely easy to fall into the understandable assumption of thinking that you are the temporary and transient traits that so many others think they are, too:
I must be the voice in my head because it sounds like me.
I must be my emotions because I feel them inside me so intimately.
I must be my body because it’s been with me since I was born.
I must be my job title because that’s what I tell people I am when asked what I do.
I must be my relationship status because my marriage certificate says so.
I must be my religion because it is what I believe in so strongly.
The list goes on and on. But none of these things are ultimately you. Yes, they contribute to your personality and what you tend to do with your day, but that does not make them you. Why? They are all temporary, come and go and change. Therefore attempting to find your Self in these transient labels is a bit like trying to stay still in the ocean without an anchor. It’s not going to work and you’ll find yourself drifting. Moving from one mental construct to another can be very confusing – not to mention highly stressful – if you attempt to define who you are from the things in your life that constantly change and are, to a large extent, outside your immediate control.