From the time we take on language, our ability to see things clearly for what they are, as they are in real-time, is impacted by perception and memory.
Both have been culturally influenced, so cannot be fully relied on to reveal any great truths. You must look past your story; the story of who you’ve been told you are by parents, teachers, clergy, friends, culture. You must look past the memories because memories are inherently inaccurate.
They are stored perceptions of an event that is immediately filtered through how we want to see ourselves, how we feel about the situation, what else is influencing that moment in time, etc. All of these influence the story we tell ourselves about that moment that gets stored as a memory.
Because the Ego’s job is to protect our self-perception, it is rare that we let ourselves fully see the truth of the moment. Biases are so deeply ingrained from an early age that we don’t see what we don’t see. We are given sacred cows and it’s rare that we ever reexamine what we think about those sacred cows as we grow up and learn more and know more.
So much of our belief structures are inherited or given to us that most people don’t even really know what they think about anything. They know the bias, they know the perception, but it’s very hard to see the truth when you feel you need to protect a point of view.
So, if you drop all your stories, who are you? If you let go of your sacred cows, what do you really think?
When we start building an identity, these stories become beads that we string together and make a necklace out of. We are smart. We are stupid. We are a good athlete. We’re clumsy. We are depressed. Life is hard. Good things happen to other people. We tend to string more of the bad experiences together and life often becomes a competition of whose life is harder.
These are ways of putting the brakes on and saying we don’t want to do more, we don’t want to learn more, we don’t want to be more, because we already feel that we are maxed out by life. And in protecting, we stop ourselves from fully experiencing.
You are not your story. You are not the beads that you have strung together and tied around your neck. This is not your identity; these beads are nothing more than hurt feelings and unresolved emotions. Cut the string and let the beads fall and do not collect them again.
If you are not your story, who are you? Look deeply past the identity and ego. Who are you when you leave that behind?