It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
Source: e.e. cummings

Who are we really? Who am I? What is my true self? Is it even important for me to understand who I am?

The whole question of identity is riddled with a mine field of confusion, misinformation and vicious labeling, leaving individuals like you and I to find our way amid the perils of conformity and painful desires to belong.

So how do you go about becoming who you really are? How do you separate the false from the true?

I'm not here to pretend that I have the answers to these vexing questions, only to offer up some guidelines that might help us arrive eventually and a greater understand of our being.

As I write this I am looking out the window at a chickadee on my rhododendron bush. The Chickadee is stripped down to bare essentials. The chickadee has no "I", no sense of identity beyond what it is. Felix, our dog, on the other hand has learned to associate "Felix" as a reference to him but has not cluttered up his brain with anything more than that. He is territorial as a survival instinct, but not as a possessive attachment to personality. Felix does not fear death because the concept is beyond him...he simply is. Yes he can feel fear, has the flight or fight reflex as a means of self preservation.

We on the other hand, evolved a neocortex with the ability to reason, and thus clutter up the landscape with think.

We evolved an ego in the process that separates us out from everything else. New born babies do not have this separation, and live in a blissful cocoon of source. Only as a gradual process do we learn an identity separate from...God...source...the universe.

Having that separate identity is not bad in and of itself. The problem arises when we forget that our ego is a self made thing that has no real concrete existence.

At the young age of eight or nine I discovered I was mortal, that "I" would die. This haunted me for a long time in my youth. I would wake up in a cold sweat. I would get up and make an excuse to my parents just to hang out with them until the fear dissipated. I couldn't confide my fear, as I once did only to be meet with a wave of a hand and "you've got a long way to go before you need worry about that."
It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I discovered that I was not my body, in a moment as clear today as it was then, when I first separated from my body. That moment sparked my search for answers and thus the process of self discovery which is basically a process of stripping away all that is false down to a purity of soul.
It is a process of uncovering, or unburdening, or removing layers. You are burrowing down to that core that was there at birth...that blissful connection to source.
The first step in the process and the hardest one for most people to grasp is they are not their body that “I” is not body or identity.
The journey back to source is a personal one. There is single way, no single course that will get you there. It is only what you discover on your personal journey.
You will have guides, you will resonate with a teacher here, a method of discover over there. You will have false starts and empty nights but persistence will bring you back to the face of god, to your own godhood.
We will understand intellectually, long before we understand emotionally, that we are immortal beings experiencing a physical finite existence.
The route out is to surrender to the journey, to love its days and nights along the way. You are really like the chickadee on the rhododendron bush, you just are.
And to relate this all back to my greeting about the day being a gift, as I sat down to write about this it wasn’t until I saw the chickadee on the rhododendron bush that I knew where I was going with my article and that chickadee would be my inspiration for my title.
Just another wonderful gift.
You are your own gift, enjoy the unwrapping.

Nick

Author's Bio: 

Nick Grimshawe has written hundreds of articles ranging from food and wine to self development and spirituality. He is the editor and publisher of http://beautifulsummermorning.com and the Beautiful Summer Morning Newsletter. You can subscribe for free here: http://beautifulsummermorning.com/subscribe-today He is currently at work on his first book and an e-book about his experiences getting off diabetic medication. He is also developing a course on how to find your life purpose.