More often than not we think of ourselves as a person. We respond to a name and carry an image of ourselves in our mind. We identify with this image, but it is only in the surrendering of this image that the joy of who we are is discovered.

We define this image of ourselves in many ways. For example, we assign ourselves roles. We may think of ourselves as a mother or father. At work, we are the VP or executive. In the community, we are a friend or leader. We also define ourselves by the way we look, often subscribing to the rules and judgments of others. We constantly compare and contrast ourselves with the world around us --- short or tall, thin or fat, pretty or ugly. As if that weren’t enough, we further define who we are by our preferences. We might prefer the cold over the heat, sweet over sour, and so on. We take ourselves to be these descriptions.

We invest energy trying to protect the idea of who we think we are. We try to enhance who we think we are in order to match the ideal of who we want to be. Our happiness is often dependent on whether or not we meet that objective. Accordingly, we may become people pleasers in order to be perceived in a good light or seek accomplishments to validate our self-worth. For example, in an attempt to avoid aging we may go to great lengths to retain youthfulness. The underlying desire is to feel complete and heal the overriding sense of unease that comes with misidentification with the body.

Unfortunately, this is never truly achieved because we are not separate bodies despite the appearance of physical separation. It is perception of separation that leaves us with the appearance of lack. We feel fragmented because we see ourselves as divided rather than whole. Consequently, we look to add things and experiences to our self-definition in order to fill a void. However, it isn’t long before we lose the temporary high that the new car or vacation provides and we are seeking the next thrill to feel complete.

You are the joy you seek. In your attempt to define who you think you are you mask the truth of who you really are. You are none of the things you imagine yourself to be because you are NOT a thing of separation. Imagine the greatest sense of joy you’ve ever felt. THAT joy is closer to who you are than any self-image you’ve ever created in your mind. You are whole, without definition or separation.

Forgiveness will dissolve the illusion of separation. Letting go of all the projected ideas and beliefs of who you think you are exposes the truth of who you really are. The act of forgiving is overlooking the untrue and accepting it as unreal. When you do this, the false idea of who you thought you were is relinquished. Every layer of definition is pealed away. Peace is what’s left after you remove the noise of labels, definitions, and beliefs you thought yourself to be. Surrender the false image and discover the joy you ARE.

Author's Bio: 

Craig Villarrubia is a Spiritual Mentor, Speaker and Life Coach. He is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a background in Eastern philosophy. If you're inspired by spiritual growth and self development visit http://www.craigvillarrubia.com Here you'll find FREE articles, videos and podcasts that serve as a resource to spiritual enlightenment. Or you can connect with Craig on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/craigvillarrubia