We know that our real self shines through when we are in a relaxed, calm state. When we have enough energy and strength to explore the world with curiosity. When we are creative and can focus the mind on designing something new.
It is present, when we feel connected: connected to a person we love, connected to nature, connected to a sense of purpose. It is triggered even through a short encounter with a stranger that is fun and pleasant. The true self is in action when we feel confident about a task we’re doing, or about a skill we have acquired. And it is genuinely compassionate.
Many women (and some men as well) learn to be overly compassionate with others. There is nothing wrong with showing empathy to others, but it is wrong when we forget to be compassionate with ourselves. When we deplete our resources, we disregard our own needs. That is not the true self. That’s another part that needs attention.
When we are in touch with our true self, we stand in our true power. Genuine power is not power over others, but power within oneself. There is no need to dominate others, because we are at peace inside.
It is not hard to find your Inner Self. You don’t have to meditate for 20 years to find it. All that’s needed is a state of calm. It’s not something magical and mystical - although it can have these qualities. It is present when we are not distressed and can simply be.
It may not be there all day long. And that is ok. That’s what being human means. The mind is always in flux, as the Buddhists rightfully teach. There is always movement - sometimes in big ways, and sometimes in small. But there is no permanence. And that also means that we cannot be in our larger self every minute of the day. You will be tired, you will be triggered and you will lose touch with the larger self - temporarily.
And then you can work to get back in touch with it.
Gerti Schoen is a writer and psychotherapist. In her spare time she enjoys learning, being in nature and around animals.