What is it that defines us? By that I mean what does it mean to say ‘be yourself’? What does it mean when I say that I am searching for the ‘real me’?
I think I have the answer.
There are two realities, there is objective reality, that is the external world around us. It is real, it is there, we can see it, it impacts us moment by moment, it presents facts, scientific, philosophical, metaphysical if you will. It is there, we can see it, touch it, hear it, all of which is to say that we can experience it through our physical faculties, our physical bodies and the attributes inherent to our physical being.
The second reality is subjective reality. Subjective reality is our own personal reaction, our own personal experience that is specific to us, the individual. It encompasses our own thoughts, our own feelings, those internal sensations that are inherent to our own personal emotional and intellectual makeup. These are the attributes of our psychic construct and our psychic construct has been formed, I’d say is dependent on our objective reality. Our psychic reality has been assembled, molded, twisted (some would say, me for example) this way and that, frequently forced to fit into spaces either too small or too big or too round or too square for our own personal capacities. The proof of this fact is that two people can see the same thing at the same time and yet each one would feel something completely different from the other.
So many of us, and admittedly I fall into this category, so many of us have had the experience of being forced into spaces too small, or spaces too large, or too round or too square for our own personal capacities. Our own attributes, e.g. talents, wishes,, likes, dislikes, hopes and fears have been dismissed as invalid and replaced with somebody else’s idea (usually our parents) of what is right. Of course we accept, at least for awhile, the other’s interpretation of reality because hey, assuming it is our parents version of reality we are referring to here, they know right? They are the parent, you are the child, they don’t need you, you need them. They must know, they’re big, you’re little.
Here is what defines the ‘real me’. My subjective experience. For the record my subjective experience is valid. Oh I’m going to say that again. My subjective experience is valid. Let’s write it on the blackboard five hundred times. My subjective experience is valid, my subjective experience is valid, my subjective…
I am allowed to like what I like. I am allowed to think what I think. I am allowed to know what I know in the way I know it. I am allowed to do all these things because these things are exactly that which makes me me, which shows to the world the real me. And to find the ‘real me’ I must go inside. I must look to myself, I must recognize and accept as my subjective reality my own experience, my thoughts, my feelings. Because this is what the definition of the real me is.
The Surgeon General has warned that while the definition of the ‘real you’ is simple and easy to find, the actual act of showing the real you to the world may be hazardous to your health and requires large quantities of courage, determination and a willingness to make yourself vulnerable beyond your wildest imagination.
St. Paul said “when I am weak, then I am strong” and Jesus said “the truth will set you free”.
No truer words have ever been spoken and it is just about the saddest thing ever that most of us have absolutely no idea what those two statements mean.