I must say, this was a difficult question that I posed for all of you on Friday. The struggle for me is how to answer this without going to a heady place. If I did that, I would not find an authentic answer. So here we go.
As can be read in the title, I believe that each and every person has a ‘higher self’, a part of themselves that transcends the physical. That soul, that spirit, or that ‘I’ as I like to call it, is unchanging, it is constant. Ultimately, I believe the I is never truly affected by the material world. You change forms – your physical body will not and cannot last forever – but your essence, your true self, is always there.
So then there is the question of where experiences play their role, because life and everything that comes with it (the challenges, the comforts, the pains, the triumphs, etc.) does change you. It’s inevitable. It’s unavoidable.
I look at what exactly the ‘I’ is. What exactly is it that composes our essence? Can it even be defined?
I’ve often explored what the I is that I am. There are many definitions we can place on such a concept of life, and through our various experiences, we all most likely have different definitions. For myself, I see my soul, my I as being part of the greater energy that everything came from. It may seem like we live in a separated world full of isolations, and it may seem like we are two different people, you and I, that we share nothing in common. But we are all connected in ways we cannot yet comprehend. We are all from the same greater energy, and this is just the form we are taking right now.
I see God living within me, as I see myself living within God. If I stripped myself of all my ego, of all my materialistic values, of all the things I identify myself with that create my identity, there is something still there. It is the true I that is beyond experiences. It is energy at it’s purest form. It is God.
So where do experiences play their part? They have their value too.
I can say with full honesty, that my experiences have completely changed me. Whether they occurred because of my choices or not, I am a different person from last year, last month, last week.
But maybe ‘change’ and ‘different’ aren’t the right words. Maybe my experiences aren’t so much changing me, as they are shaping me in this level of existence or consciousness. And maybe I’m not changing and becoming a different person, but rather I am discovering more of myself, and my experiences are leading me closer and closer to I.
Dean K. Miller commented something that stood out for me: “My experiences are just that….my experiences. I am not them, nor are they me. But they make up the framework of who I choose to be, moment by moment, lifetime after lifetime. The experiences come and go, here for a reason, recognized or not.”
I connected with those words – experience absolutely makes up the framework of who I am as a human being. It does shape me here on Earth. But saying that I am the sum of my experiences is to look only at one’s identity.
And you are much more than just your identity. You are something much, much more beautiful.