• Antti Vanhanen

Identity - The Human Story

This is the story of every human being that has ever lived.


When you were born, you were assigned a name, gender, nationality, race, and identity.


Of course, you understood none of those labels and none of them came even remotely close to capturing your true essence, but as time went on, you started identifying more and more with these labels.


Everywhere you turned, there was someone’s idea or opinion of what those labels should mean.


And because there were so many opinions voiced with so much conviction, you eventually believed them.


This is where we find ourselves now.


We are trying to live up to the image we have of ourselves.


The more we identify with the idea of "me", the more we will inevitably feel insecure and worthless, because no man or woman can live up to an image.


My friend - we are NOT an image or a concept or even an entity.


The part of us that we are taught to identify with is constantly in a state of flux.


Our thoughts don’t stay the same. Our perspectives keep changing.


Our feelings are constantly ebbing and flowing, moving from one mood to another to another to another - and they will until the day we die.


So to identify yourself with what is constantly coming and going is to identify yourself with what isn’t, well, you.


After all, you don’t go when your feeling goes, do you?


So what we have here is a case of a mistaken identity.


You are not that which you believe yourself to be and what you judge yourself by.


But as long as you believe that you are, you can never convince yourself that you are worthy of love.


Said another way, the belief that you are not worthy of love and the you - the identity - you believe yourself to be are both thoughts.


A thought cannot change another thought any more than a red balloon can change the color of a blue balloon.


So who are you then?


You are that which you were when you were born, before you understood words and concepts, before you were able to identify with any label.


You just were.


And that, my friend, finally gets us to the crucial point:


It is impossible to find our true self in the world of thoughts, because thoughts are concepts, and what we are was already there before any concepts were understood.


So if we cannot be found in thoughts, where can we be found?


To find ourselves, we must look in the spaces between our thoughts.


Who are you when you forget to think about yourself?


Who are you when you are immersed in a stimulating conversation, a good book, or a fun activity?


THAT is who you are, and it cannot be reduced to words and concepts.


THAT you is perfect and always has been perfect.


THAT you is your best self, the you that you wish you could be.


THAT you is who you are when you aren’t resisting or trying to control yourself and your life.


THAT you is simply who you are and have always been.


THAT you has no self-esteem or self-worth issues, because self-esteem and self-worth are simply concepts and labels.


You are already perfect my friend, except for the thoughts that you are not.


Let the thoughts be and then YOU can just be.

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