Who Am I?
I know I've met my perfect client match when I hear someone ask this question. It is the question of all humanity since the beginning and until the end. Every philosopher, thinker, creator, artist surrounds their energy with this question.
Most of us answer this with what we see outside of ourselves. I am the family role that I play (mother, father, child, sister, grandfather, etc). I am the way I earn a living. I am the way I treat others. I am how other's see me. I am the money that I earn. I am the neighborhood where I live or the group of people I connect to.
For some, the realization that "I am not those external things" happens when those things are taken away. This is often the experience of trauma. When what I know and how I define myself gets ripped away, demolished, destroyed and I am left flailing in nothingness.
Then we must ask again....Who Am I?
You are still here even though you are no longer anchored by that external sense of self. So "you" must be something else.
While there are a lot of resources out there on how you are not your body or your actions/behavior, I focus here on emotions since, for most of us, that's the hardest to wrap our mind around. And it's a topic I encounter often in my work supporting others in their quest to live more authentic, rich lives.
I believe "I am not my emotions" is the most abstract concept because it does come from the internal. "It is my internal world. These are my internal reactions therefore it must be me." However....if one thing makes you sad, another happy, another excited, another drained....if that same thing can create different feelings at different times...then "you" are being emotionally triggered but "you" don't change.
Here's the Bottom Line: Pretty much anything you can observe is not "you". You are the observer.
Now why is this important?
If you truly grasp that you are not your emotions then you can experience any emotion and not lose sight of your sense of self, your life vision/purpose, your inner compass.
Imagine feeling depressed, anxious, overwhelmed and letting that wave pass. Observing it and labeling it for the experience that it is BUT not being swept away by it. Imagine not losing days, weeks, months or even years fighting to get back on track to the things that really matter to you.
Separate your sense of self from everything external to you AND your emotional reactions to things...and you are set free. You set yourself free.