True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There’s no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
I am a self-aware sentient human being. In other words, I am a living, breathing, blunder-making, person who, for the most part, has it together. I am by no means perfect nor would I ever claim to be. That’d be foolish and egotistical of me.
I am, however, aware of who I am. I am aware of what I stand for and where my boundaries are. I am aware of my flaws and traits. I am my person and make my choices based in part on my past experiences and part by my best guess as to where I am trying to go with my life. Sometimes, the Universe gives me a little nudge now and then if I stall out.
I was not always so sure-footed in my identity, I did not figure this is where I’d be in life or what I’d be doing with my time if you’d asked me ten years ago. Hell, two years ago I was still a hard living, whiskey-bent hell-raiser with a mouth like a trucker. Well, I still love a good glass of whiskey, and I’m still a bit of a cuss-word connoisseur.
However, I had an experience I’ll call it that thrust me out of my delusion that I knew anything about myself in reality. Like most of us, I had an image of myself built up in my mind that was quite far from the truth. I was, to say the least, inspiringly uninspired and floating just above rock-bottom, but far from treading water. I had no idea of what it was that moved or inspired me.
I thought I was pretty happy. I had a decent place, a relatively good job, and I was in love; though that was not to last and neither was my assumed happiness with my job or my place. As my “stable” relationship fell apart, so did my concept of who I was deep-down. I began to question if I was happy. I was not. I began to wonder what I was meant to do in this life that could make a living wage and also alleviate the massive longing in my soul.
The more my relationship faltered, the less I trusted myself. The less I trusted myself, the more I deviated from my usual sense of self. The more alienated I was by my narcissistic mate, the less I felt I knew which way was even up any longer. This disconnection caused me great anxiety that built and built until one day the relationship finally crashed, and I snapped!
I couldn’t breathe; I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t stomach leaving the house; I couldn’t even be bothered with calling in sick to work or checking Facebook. Unable to function, I sat. I sat there at the kitchen table from morning till night. Through the evening, I sat in the dark unwilling to turn on a light and face the reality of what was gone. But, the emptied room and barren walls were merely a metaphor or a stark-naked reminder of what else was gone. I had lost myself, my sense of self, and my awareness of me was totally shell-shocked.
Through the night, I sat in the dark unwilling to turn on a light, unwilling to face the reality of what was gone. But, the emptied room and barren walls were merely a metaphor or a stark-naked reminder of what else was gone. I had lost myself, my sense of self, and my awareness of me was totally shell-shocked.
This once strong and proud man had broken into a lost and lonely child who was terrified of his own shadow. Panic attack after anxiety fueled panic attack I struggled to grasp at anything that could pull me out of this hell I found myself. Then, one day I sank even lower than I had been.
I sank deeper until there was nowhere else to go. I had bottomed out. Almost out of a job and being evicted from my apartment, I found the stable ground I needed to push off of and gain some verticle movement.
I began a morning ritual of self-care and reciting mantras to boost me up to leave the house. I started writing each morning as a way to deal with my anxiety on the train to work. I never had any actual direction for it; I just let the words flow and to my surprise, they made sense, not only to me but others found solace and healing in the automatic writing exercise I performed each morning. Time would reveal that most of my writing was not even about my life or what I was going through but somehow was aimed at helping others.
Time would show that most of my writing was not even about my life or what I was going through but somehow was aimed at helping others. Eureka! I had found my groove in the act of helping others to overcome what I was going through. This very blog poured forth from this experience. I found what drove my heart, and that helping others through their darkest times is what I was put here to do.
“Well, great!” I thought. Now I had to figure out how to make a living with it, but that is where the gift of writing becomes a labor of love and a new freelance writing career. However, I still write The Daily Kickstand because it is a part of who I am and it is a part of what saved me. In service of others, I found my true self again and at that moment I found my connectedness to all that I was missing. I found strength and purpose. I am happier than I’ve ever been, I am a confident and mindfully empowered soul on his correct path once more.
In one of the darkest corners of my soul, I found a calling to help others, and a chance to create a beautiful life for myself and others. I am not lost anymore. I am not broken. I am no longer frightened. I-am-one.
The moment we put down the illusions that we carry of ourselves, or the moment someone or something comes along and crushes them, destroying the carnival mirror we are used to seeing ourselves through is scary as hell, I won’t lie. But, it is also there in the darkness and despair that we can find our true self- standing there before you, waiting to be reborn again.
Accepting one’s faults and flaws and seeing ourselves as we are is a painful yet amazingly powerful and awe inspiring moment. Because it is at that moment when we are most vulnerable and most open that the universe can bring us to where we were supposed to be all along. It is the letting go of all control that we are once again found and righteously on our path.
The truth of the matter is, there is no self-awareness. There are only the true self and its energy which eternally ties us to all that is. The Universe birthed us in the cosmos eons ago, we are as old as the stars, yet what is truly scary is how little we know ourselves and how very little we trust the guiding energies within us. We cling to our rigid control fallacy of self-awareness and our sense of self when that feeling of individuality is the very thing that haunts us.
Tear down your facades, throw out your defenses, and stand before yourself exposed to the core and love yourself enough, to allow your true self to guide your heart and soul back to that original connection to all that is. In doing so, as you reconnect to the world around you, as you synchronize with the Universal flow once again, you will have found yourself stronger, wiser, and more able than you’ve ever been.