Retrieving the Self from the self. (Retrieving who I am from who I THINK I am).

I am often aware of the core essence of who I am; a powerful and present expression of Life Itself flowing through the central awareness of myself as a human being. From that center out to the edges of my physical awareness is the personality I have created throughout my life. The majority of this personality has been created by default: things I have learned from parents, teachers, my environment generally and all the conclusions I drew from my experiences and which are largely unconscious. Along the awakening road of becoming more aware of the truth of my being, I have had to redefine many of those conclusions as the conclusions of a young and inexperienced mind that do not necessarily hold true in the light of my growing awareness as an awakening adult.

Stuck places in life indicate areas of malfunctioning conclusions still buried deep in the psyche. Often it is the pain of another that reflects these places back to us and when we explore a little deeper we can see where we too have a dam of wrong conclusions still blocking the free flow of Life Itself.

IMG_5639Wrong Conclusions

Another name for wrong conclusions is brain tracks. Whatever you call them, they will dominate our life experiences until they are diffused and dissolved.

One such wrong conclusion for me has been who I think I am in relationship with another, in particular my relationships with men. The most powerful of these experiences was when I discovered my husband having an affair of a year or so. The absolute bottom fell out of my world. I had identified myself as a wife and mother for so long, and while I had begun the inner search for who I really am, that sense had not yet consolidated. The pain of betrayal hurt more than anything I had experienced to date. Intellectually, I came to know this is ego and that I had invested my identity in who I was in that relationship, instead of knowing who I really am. But pulling myself up out of that wreckage was something else.

Eventually I recovered along with a deeper understanding of my true essence. And yet, that wrong conclusion – that who I am is a better person when I am in a relationship with a man who ‘appears’ to have qualities and attributes that it ‘appears’ I don’t – persevered.

Other relationships followed. Other betrayals – devastating and causing great suffering – until I saw this picture in my head.

A Visual

Remember the stick figures we used to make out of pipe cleaners? (If you are old enough I guess). So here inside me was this stick figure of light, an aspect of Life Itself. It was bendy, like a pipe cleaner, and extremely flexible. It was translucent, radiating layers of light. Those layers then faded into a dense, thick fog. This fog continued right out to the edges of my body. I understood somehow, that this fog wasn’t just my physical body – but rather it was the denseness of thought that was stuck in knots of ‘brain tracks‘ looping endlessly around and around. They were packed so tightly they appeared as one big mass, even though they were made up of innumerable tracks.

So here was the essence of Life Itself expressing through my physical form at the heart of all that I am. And here was the learned thinking that my mind still believed to be true that made up my personality. To be sure there were pockets where the inner light shone through; areas in my life where my thinking was relaxed and open and life was good, but it was those masses of dense fog that caught my attention.

Fog on Snake RiverIt dawned on me, that were I to let go of that thinking and open myself up to that inner light, there was a whole exciting world just waiting for me to discover in those newly vacated fog pockets. “Who am I?” I asked myself, “without the thinking that says I am not enough and that I need a man to fill those gaps that I think that I can’t”?

I Am Complete and Whole Now

The concept that we are not complete unless we are in a relationship, still dominates our society. To be sure, as we evolve, those ideas are slowly dissolving, but still I hear, time and again, the longing for another with whom to spend the rest of our days, in order to ‘complete’ us. There is a vast difference between the preference to share our lives with another and theĀ need to share out lives with another. When we are whole inside ourselves first, we come together with another as an H so that we each stand whole and complete and connected. When we need the other to fill a space in which we think we are lacking, we come together as an A, so that without the other, we collapse.

I recall one relationship in particular that seemed to me to be sent from heaven. He was on the same wave length as me in so many areas of my life that were really important to me. I felt free to express myself in ways that I had never experienced before. In short, I loved who I was when I was with him. When it ended, and I collapsed and went through that suffering all over again, one of the realizations I came to was that I could love who I am when I am with myself, which is in truth, my Self! It had taken that relationship for me to come to that place of awareness.

We think another brings out our best, and/or our worst, when in fact it is mind reacting to the other. Much and all as we might deny it, others do reflect ourselves back to us. Depending on our reactions, we can learn what still lies hidden and unresolved within us. IMG_8766_LRWhen we feel in sync with another, Life Itself can flow through us more easily. But the minute that synchronicity stops, mind steps right back in with our insecurities and doubts and the flow stops, dammed by those old brain tracks.

When I thought about how much I had loved who I was when I was in that relationship, I decided to apply that thought to myself. “I love who I am when I am with my SELF”! Now that felt so much better. That meant the only requirement to loving who I am was to be with my SELF. Something I could control. Then I could take that out into the world and love who I am when I am with my SELF with anyone. The need for another to validate me, disappeared.

An Exciting New World of Possibilities

The opportunity that such experiences bring to us, is to explore those old, stuck places and to not only dissolve their illusions, but also to then explore the exciting new possibilities that are opened up in those spaces when the ‘stuckness’ is dissolved. If I am no longer that needy person relying on another for my fulfillment and happiness, then who am I really? And what does Life look like if I allow that inner core to expand and flow through those old stuck places?

Mind wants to hold on to those old brain tracks because its identity is completely wrapped up in them. It fights to keep and maintain that identity. So we have to be eternally vigilant; watching, identifying and freeing ourselves from the train wreck of wrong conclusions.

I found the Chapter 4 in Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth (Penguin Publishing 2006) about the many faces of the ego, to be very helpful for this process. In effect Eckhart says to just continue to learn to recognize ego thoughts and emotions until a shift happens and a far greater intelligence takes over. You don’t need to do anything more, other than become aware as those thought and emotions arise.

Lighted Mountains

As the years go by, and I flow that inner core of Presence into more of these areas, they become easier to identify, so that they do far less damage and I find more and more bliss filling their vacated spaces.