A man looking at himself reflected in a window.

The Search for Self: Introducing your self to your self

Recently, while conversing with a friend, it became obvious that he was longing for something; searching for something that would make him happy. As we conversed it became apparent that he had spent a good portion of his life investigating his thoughts and emotions. He was well acquainted with his feelings and was excellent at direct and sincere interpersonal communication. He possessed a radiant self-confidence and an outstanding ability to make his way through his daily world of events and relationships. But he still felt something was missing in his life.

As we talked I inquired, “You appear to be familiar with all of the various movements of consciousness, your thoughts, body sensations and emotions. This is quite apparent. But do you know yourself as the knower of all of these movements?”

He replied, “Why would anyone want to focus on this? I am not interested in this as I am far more engaged in looking for the person with whom I am going to spend the rest of my life.”

I replied, “You mean, your Self?” This response stopped him short and brought him into self-recognition and laughter.

“Yes.” He replied. “You are quite correct.” I am really looking for myself, aren’t I.”

As we continued our dialogue I asked, “When you are simply here, without looking for something, how do you feel?”

He replied, “I feel quite content.”

I continued, “Is there anything that you feel that is lacking when you are simply here, now, without looking for something?”

“No.” He replied. “When I am simply here without an agenda I feel quite relaxed and at ease. Nothing appears to be lacking.”

I inquired more deeply, “What will happen when you find what you are looking for? Won’t you be here, now, too?”

He replied, “Yes. I guess I will.”

So I stated the obvious, “Then why not be here, now, continuously as you can never be anywhere else?”

This response actually startled him into deep reflective silence. In this there was the recognition that happiness is never in the future, but always here, now. His very looking was taking him outside himself, away from himself for the feeling of lack only arises when we think this moment should be different; that we should be other than as we are.

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Written by Richard C. Miller PhD

Explore Wellness in 2021