The concept of enlightenment has been embraced by many as a powerful state of being. According to Dr. Wayne Dyer, it involves being conscious of our true nature, which is not limited by materiality or the ego. Achieving enlightenment, however, requires letting go of external distractions and expectations. This allows us to awaken to the truth within ourselves and learn to be in tune with our innermost essence.
To truly embrace ourselves, we must first understand our core identity through deep introspection and self-reflection. This means questioning our beliefs and motivations to better understand what resonates with us. As Ram Dass suggests, it involves "becoming nobody."
Unfortunately, society's current understanding and definition of "finding ourselves" often leads us further away from our true nature. Instead, we tend to reinforce our ego identity, which is ultimately responsible for much of our pain and suffering. For instance, we often feel compelled to distinguish ourselves, demonstrate our worth, earn admiration and approval, and strive to possess a distinct identity that sets us apart. This is the manifestation of our ego.
Discovering our authentic selves, the part of us that is interconnected with all beings and strives to love and learn without bias, demands a distinct method. If you desire to embark on the quest for enlightenment, these are the beliefs, experiences, and practices you must embrace:
Understand that You Are Not Your Thoughts, Beliefs, or Persona: Your thoughts are fleeting, beliefs may evolve, and your persona is simply a physical package that houses your true being. It's important to recognize that what you see in the mirror or on your resume does not encompass your entire identity—not even close. Forgetting this leads us to prioritize our superficial selves, igniting division, egoism, and a sense of superiority over others.
Be Present in the Moment: When we embrace our true nature, we learn to thrive in the present moment rather than letting ourselves get swept away by worry about past experiences or future outcomes. By focusing on what we can control now, we become more aware of our inner essence without external interference from unhelpful thought patterns, emotions, or the opinions of others.
When we envy what others possess or are accomplishing, we disconnect from the present. But, if we stay focused on the here and now, we eliminate feelings of desperation and instead nurture an appreciation for the abundance in our own lives. Observing our surroundings with a clear mind teaches us to appreciate the little things that bring us joy and satisfaction. We realize we don't need to constantly seek happiness because we already have so much to be grateful for. It's about embracing the simplicity and convenience of our modern lives and acknowledging the abundance surrounding us.
Let Go of Attachment: Our fixation on material possessions, coupled with our expectations, desire for control, and need to always be right, can lead us astray from our true purpose in life. By objectively examining these attachments, we can learn to let go when it serves a greater purpose for us and those around us. When we finally release these attachments and fully embrace our true power and intuition, we'll find that things flow more naturally and experience less stress and anxiety caused by our worrisome ego.
Connect With Nature: As humans, we have developed a sense of self-importance that has caused many of us to forget our connection to nature. Engaging in simple activities like gardening, hiking, star gazing, or taking a moment to appreciate the abundance of life unrelated to the material world of humanity can help us reconnect with our roots in this universe. These activities remind us that we are not separate nor superior to the natural world and can help us appreciate the beauty and importance of nature in our lives.
Embracing our true selves is a journey of self-discovery and personal enlightenment. It is about recognizing and accepting who we are while taking responsibility for our shortcomings. Unfortunately, our ego often misinterprets the meaning of embracing ourselves, which leads to self-importance and superficiality. By focusing on self-awareness, introspection, and developing compassion, we can overcome our ego and become enlightened. When we embrace our true selves, we can live in the present moment, connect with others on a deeper level, and lead a more fulfilling life.