The things by which we generally define ourselves – appearance, personality, abilities, work, relationships, etc – can all change. Our sense of self can be influenced by what people say, the situations around us and the problems we face. What is it, then, that defines who we are?
Much of the unhappiness and insecurity in the world is a result of our limited, external perception of ourselves. I believe it is the inner, spiritual, identity that people are searching for today. This spiritual identity can give me hope in a situation of despair, show me a solution to any problem and inspire me to change the direction of my life. And it is through recognising and experiencing my spiritual self that I can connect with God and receive the strength and broader vision that I need to contribute positively to this world.
“Start with the question: what do I really value in life?”
A good way to get to know myself on a deeper level is to start with the question: what do I really value in life? I will probably find that I value qualities such as love, happiness, compassion…the things that make me feel valued and bring inner happiness. I then think about whether or not the way I live my life reflects that – and what is there in my life that matches what I value?
Seeing myself as a spiritual being, I rediscover my natural, inner treasures of peace, love, purity, happiness and wisdom, which I tend to forget. It’s like having a beautiful instrument in my cupboard. Well, why not play it? When I experience these qualities within myself, I became a much happier, more stable person. Understanding my own value, I am able to keep my self-respect, even when someone is trying to bring me down, and so can help others come out of their limited perception.
This is why it is so important to spend time in meditation every day. It helps me understand myself, reflect in this deeper way and become strong in my spiritual identity, so that I maintain my happiness and inner strength - and can influence the world around me in a positive way.
by Maureen Goodman