There’s a disconnect between who we think we are and who we really are.
The idea in the euphoric battle of ego and self; the importance of knowing that when you fall or when you break, its not actually you that’s hurting, that’s broken or fallen. The ego is the part of us that experiences pride, shame, loss, and euphoria. What stays intact is our seed of self, the embodiment of our truest self that we may never really see. Identity means less and less to me as I grow older. To pin things down and tie them up; that’s how I’ve formed my identity. I save the things I can sense and feel, and let go of the ones that don’t resonate with me, that don’t linger. Yet, the idea of the self is still a mystery to me.
Mentors and friends say, “you have to really work on yourself first,” or, “do you know your limits?” Be transparent, know yourself, do you. These common questions and expectations of what we are meant to discover as we adventure in this world grab at the essence of a self that is beyond our conceptualization of who we think we are. There are layers and layers of the self we can’t even tap into without serious focus and intention.
When we fold over in Utthita Trikonasana (triangle pose), and shift our legs to square our hips, and use our core to open bigger and wider, we take up space we never thought we could. I am so aware of my body in this pose. The stretching and the taking up space parts of yoga allow me to notice how I’m feeling in that moment, and to tap into this part of me from a perspective that is only made by the fullest expression of the asana and staring up towards my finger tips. I think, I am as much this physical space as I am a body.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to unravel the mystery of my true self, this thing in the core that I try to catch a glimpse of here and there, time after time. Whether this is waking up to see the sunrise, letting the colors, warm and lively, nudge me awake, or whether this is my body’s hunger when fatigued and croaking, that remarkable sense of awareness of the body, penetrating inwards.
We can never know what we don’t know, we can only reach these points of miraculous clarity where we think we know. To know the self is a thing we crave as humans, but I don’t think we can ever really know it fully.
There are so many people that say they know you. The very words, “I know you,” has a connotation that we see more in a person than a stranger does- we know pieces of their lives or the origins of their being that make up who we make them out to be. All of our little selves are spread out across the world so thinly. What someone is to me is not to you, and what you are to me is not to you. A poet, a liar, a writer, a cheater, or a hero. What is it that drives all of these shards of identity into one another that create our reflection? I feel this trudging in my brain of all the different me’s just crying out, Look at me! I’m the one! To find the language to speak back to these little selves and to do so is the push and pull of ego and self. Like a marching band, the caravan of self is driven across our minds and our bodies, and is running in the words spoken of us in admiration, in criticism, and in moments of love.
It is the me that I know that I want to turn on this path from ego to self. To endure by being no one and so specifically myself that I will feel at the edge of life itself. I can’t feel her, but I know she’s out there. A sliver of self is more fulfilling to me than a plate of fruits and treats in front of me because it is much more a part of me than tangible objects. I think I can settle with this bit of human mystery and keep the ride interesting. This is what builds my curiosity and my draw to continue to lay these questions out, break them down, and try to resonate with the fact that there isn’t always an answer.
When you fall, you simply didn’t catch your ego. Your self is still standing and still looking out across the green, green grass, searching for some thing sitting on the horizon line that is not necessarily so obvious to the naked eye.