What does it mean to be authentic? Have you ever heard the phrase, “die before you die”? Check this out.
“To be, or not to be, that is the question…” Hamlet’s words resonated in my soul as a disillusioned and frustrated teenager. Now, nearly thirty years later, I have a greater appreciation for the seeds of consciousness embedded in this insightful soliloquy. Who is Hamlet conversing with in this monologue? Himself? Yes. We all talk to ourselves, right? I had no idea how profound the notion of conversing with oneself could be in understanding authenticity, until many years into adulthood.
Take a moment to tune into the voice in your head. If you ask, “What voice?” That’s the voice. Keep listening. Are you present to the chatter? “What chatter?” it may ask. That chatter, that voice. “What is she talking about?” Yes, that’s what I’m talking about… the voice that asked the question. Tuned in yet?
Although this voice is ever-present, many of us have not yet fully distinguished its existence. It’s always there. Always talking to us. Always asking questions. It’s the voice in our mind that sings useless 1980’s song lyrics on a Monday morning at work. It’s the voice that occupies the quiet with its narration of what’s happening, what might happen, or what has happened. It judges what the person next to you is wearing. It tells you you’re having a fabulous hair day. It whispers how you will never live up to your potential. It keeps you up at night worried about tomorrow’s presentation. It’s like a mother that won’t quit with its advice. It has you weigh all options for any situation until you’re so confused you can’t make a decision. The voice in your head is the soundtrack of your life. It just won’t stop. And we are listening to it, knowingly or unknowingly.
I realized I had a nice co-dependent relationship with the voice. She tells me the things no one else has the guts to tell me. She tells me I’m not really worthy of love. She tells me I’m not the great mother I could be. She tells me I’m looking pretty good but I need to lose these last 10 pounds. She’s a brave voice, she is. And I appreciate her frankness. But I like to keep her in line. So I like to do some affirmations to redirect her attention and tone. “I love myself for all my perfections and imperfections for I am a creation of God.” I give the voice positive direction. I reprogram the voice. I change my thoughts to change my life. I dictate what the voice tells me.
But wait. Who is the “me?” What the voice tells me? Huh? Who is “the voice” and who is “me”? If the voice tells me something, I must be other than the voice. If the voice is telling me something, I can’t be the voice. I communicate with the voice. Therefore, logically, there are two entities. There is “I” and there is “voice.” There is the voice that speaks and the I that listens. Hmm… so I am separate from the voice.
Ah, Hamlet was on to something! What is the door to authenticity? Realize you are not the voice; you are the observer of the voice. Ego is the voice. Authentic, divine Self is the observer.
You see, the voice’s job is to help you make sense of the world, to align it with how you deem it should be. Its job is to defend and protect this perspective. It continually recreates the world in your mind with its chatter because you can’t control the real world. So it regulates what you perceive. The voice deletes, distorts, and generalizes all the information you take in to match its viewpoint. It filters, justifies, or challenges what doesn’t fit. It makes you feel validated in your viewpoints and beliefs. This ego-based approach is inauthentic. It’s disconnected with the divine Self.
Authenticity in our lives and the world emerges when we become aware of and release this false self, perpetuated by the voice. In this letting go – the dying off of the ego and the voice – we give space for the emergence of the divine Self. Take it from Hamlet and be in the inquiry of “To be or not to be.” But, allow the death of the ego.
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Darshana Patel is a Spiritual Activist, Energy Healer, and Founder of Unscripted Way. She is a catalyst in the consciousness revolution. Learn more at http://www.unscriptedway.com.