We have built a very strong identity that has mistaken the false self for the True Self. This false identity serves as a foundation to support our unhealthy patterns. The patterns are like a house built upon this foundation. We create a reality based on living in this house of patterns. To the True Self, what happens in this house is like a movie created by the patterns; however real it may seem to the people living in it, it is not real life because the True Self plays no part in it. This house is not the “true home” of life; it is not where life belongs. Life is far greater than this house. To reinstate the place of the True Self, we need to tear this house down, including its foundation. This is why transforming false identity and identification is so crucial.
Everything that happened and has been internalized could become part of our identity — our experience of being mistreated and hurt, our fear and emotional distress, and all the memories related to these painful experiences in life. If we look deeper, we see how these have been taken on as part of the “me” we construct and how they are entangled with our patterns.
Answer the question: “How would you describe yourself as a person?” Not how you want others to see you, though. Do this without much thinking and just see what jumps out. What would follow “I am”? This will give you a glimpse of your identity and identifications.
Some people may think: “It is easier to drop the identifications such as appearance, age, race, gender, nationality, culture, financial status, work, political persuasion, religious belief, ideology, and roles we play. After all, most of these are the mental construct of categorization. But how do I drop the identifications related to how I see myself? If I am stripped of all of these, what is left of me? What would I become?”
Some people may wonder: “Isn’t this an act of self-doubt, self-denial, self-sabotage, and self-disapproval? How do I deal with this?”
First of all, we need to examine how our self-perception affects our life. Does it make life better? Does it bring positive experiences to life? Does it bring us closer to the five treasures of life – health, happiness, a sense of wellbeing, growth, and contribution? If we don’t have clarity on this, we can be doing harm to our own life without knowing it.
Secondly, we can look at whether the way we see ourself reflects truth, who we truly are. In this process, it is possible that you will see that you are stubbornly attached to how you see yourself because you firmly believe it is true. You and the negative experiences and what they have made you become, are totally unified. Because they happened and you experienced them yourself, you never doubt their reality. However, this does not mean that your view of yourself reflects the truth. For example, you may see yourself as a fearful person. But does this make you a fearful person? The truth is there are causes that made you see yourself this way but being fearful is not an innate quality of your life. If we can gain clarity on the causes and work on them, we don’t need to spend the rest of our life serving this prison sentence.
The process of stripping life of the false identifications is about dismantling the foundation that supports patterns and blocks the manifestation of the True Self. We will not end up being homeless or getting lost in a vacuum. There is no need to fear the uncertainties ahead because life can only become better when the True Self is finally able to function and take charge of life. This is where home is, where life truly belongs.