We all have different ways of seeing ourselves. We have an us for family and an us for work. We have an us for our friends of the same gender, an us for mixed company. Maybe we have a sports us, or a musical us, or a coupled-us.
In addition to those we also have a general demeanor. An us for us, so to speak. That’s the one we’re focused on now. We want to study ourselves closely enough to stir a meaningful realization.
If we look carefully we’ll see; what we think of as our ‘personality,’ ‘attitude,’ and ‘life’ are nothing more than ongoing acts of judgment that we perpetrate on ourselves, using verbal descriptions that our mind creates for use by our ego in its discussions with its self.
We are always much larger than those descriptions. When we’re asleep we’re largely freed from the confines of our thought-based, daytime identity. That’s why we can do things like fly when we dream. We don’t limit our imagination. But not long after we’ve woken up in the morning, most people will have loaded yesterday’s ego yet again.
Since we sleep free, and we end up with an often tortured identity, this means we must undergo a period of loading that identity. Idea by idea, thought by thought, judgment by judgment, story by story we load our beliefs about our identities and lives.
If we begin to look at our lives for these acts of loading, we will often learn that we have quietly developed quite sophisticated habits of thought that underscore our daily actions. For instance, as we brush our teeth we might think about how bad our job is.
Maybe when we walk the dog we have a tradition of moping about being single. Maybe when we vacuum we’re constantly rewriting our history so that it leads anywhere except to vacuuming in this house, with this spouse.
Our job in finding this loading procedure is made easier by the fact that, naturally, mornings are when we enact a lot of the story of us. That’s when we begin thinking the thoughts that bring to life whoever we think we are. Try and think back to your morning routine. Do you recall any moments where you can now see that you were subtly telling yourself who you were?
Did you define yourself as sick? Old? Depressed? Miserable? Lonely? Because we can have bad things happening that are true, yet we can still define ourselves as fortunate, or content or grateful. Because those things are also true if we’re not so negatively selective when constructing our identity.
Get out of your sad, mad, or insecure identity rut. That can slowly become a grave. Instead, be someone new. Decide who that is. And then wake up each morning and start your day by thinking that person’s thoughts. Because that is the only means by which anyone can intentionally become themselves.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.