Who Am I, Really?

I discovered a simple practice recently – a meditation of sorts – while preparing for sleep. After removing clothing and work jewelry, bathing and teeth-brushing, I paused in the darkness and quiet of the bedroom. My fingers touched my wedding rings and, for whatever reason, I removed them. I then took out the one earring stud I always wear. And lastly, even I find this hard to admit; lastly I put down my cell phone. In that moment, I sensed relief. I stood in the silence, closed my eyes, and allowed myself to feel a weightlessness move throughout my body, detached from any material possessions.

There in the darkness, I asked the question, “Who am I really?” My professional wardrobe, titles and the way I present myself describe how I live in the world, the work I do, the education I’ve attained. My rings define the relationship with my spouse and, in some respects, indicate the parenthood role I’ve filled for most of my life. The earring stud is symbolic of my rebel side, birthed in teenage years and ever-present…as is my tattoo but not so easily removed (or seen). And the cell phone, this ‘smart’ device, is my constant connection to the world, my cyber companion. It’s how I stay plugged in to everyone and everything I care about. The phone is with me everywhere, at all times, and it is the most difficult possession to put down.

The question remains, “Who am I really?” Without all the trappings and jewelry and titles and symbols, without all the electronics, usernames and passwords, how do I define myself? How would I introduce myself to God? My name, bestowed on me by my parents, is simply a human label, helpful in this realm of living. So I immediately released any attachment to my name, which allowed me to let go of my entire past. In my mind’s eye, as my name disappeared, so did my body. All that was left was a buzzing awareness… alone with the Divine Presence of the One Mind. Only the present moment. I breathed.

This blissful state of being was my answer. I am consciousness and energy. I am love and joy and compassion. In this state of awareness, I am truly an expression of God. There is only God. There is nothing else. There doesn’t need to be.

In this state of connection to my true Source of Life, all relationships, though temporary on this plane, are holy and precious; we all come from the same Source. This awareness can resolve any difficulty, forgive any person, release any unpleasant experience, or heal any hurt feelings. Our earthly relationships give us opportunities to grow in consciousness and to practice being God-like. Some of us need a lifetime to get it right; others, not so much.

Yes, I’m still here. I still have work to do. And I am grateful for the glimpse of who I really am.