The following is the sixth installment in a weekly series of reflections from one of our learners in the Beyond Mindfulness program. Each week, Noopur will recap her personal experience to give insight into her journey towards a more aware and intentional life. If you’re ready to start your journey in mindfulness, please get in touch. We’re here to help.
Hello wonderful people!
How are you all doing today?
I am doing well as always and am really excited about sharing this week’s learning journey with you all.
Ever found yourself asking the question ‘Who am I?’ ‘What is my purpose in life?’ ‘Why am I here?’. Let me tell you, you have company. Most humans at some point or the other have thought about this. I know I have thought a lot about these questions in the past and they have been coming up again for me.
I find it interesting that each topic we have covered so far has come at a time when I really needed it. I don’t know if it is just a strange coincidence or the universe helping me answer my own questions, whatever it is, I welcome it into my life.
As you might have guessed by now, this week we covered one of the most popularly asked existential questions humans have ever asked, “Who am I?”. And what was the conclusion to this you ask? Nothing.
We don’t discuss a topic like this to come to a conclusion but to learn the various possible answers that can be there. “Who am I?” is such a deeply personal question and can have so many versions to it depending on how you are answering it, and what matters to you. It is also one of those questions that changes the most over time and when we decide to look deeper.
But what if the most common answers are stripped? What I mean by saying this is: if you asked me “who are you?”, I would say “Noopur, this human being sitting here in flesh and bones, with her own passions, experiences, and personality.” But, what if I didn’t have the name that I do, and the body that I did, who would I be then? Imagine being able to sit and discuss this with people who are pondering over this question too. My temporary answer to this question is:
“I am my name, my body, my experience, and everything that forms my personal universe. But I am also aware that I am a part of the greater creation. I am the ocean within a drop and also a drop in the ocean. Why do I need to choose between either? And how does that change reality?”
I have been thinking about this recently; that as humans we all fear the unknown—knowing things that can help and having answers to look at helps us feel more in control. And I know our ego has a very bad reputation in the market. But all it is trying to do is protect us. Because as humans we wouldn’t have existed without it. The problem comes when the ego takes over to believe that there is nothing greater than it. Where ‘I’ is the only way to look at things and hence ‘I’ feel the need to control and manipulate things around me to feel safe and no longer need to fear the unknown. Hence, my aim is to strive to get to a point where I can allow myself to find my path because I am important to myself. But I want it to be in alignment with the greater good of this planet. Because in true essence I and everyone on this planet are created of the same matter.
But I also think these things are easier said than done and I have seen that happening recently. When one is in an argument, the last thing you are thinking is “the person in front of me and I are made of the same matter.” At that time one wants to feel in control as a way to protect the self. So, the bigger challenge is to understand and actually be okay to let go of this feeling of control, maybe not in everything, but in most places.
This brings me to the next very popularly asked question that I find myself asking more often than “Who am I? “And that is: “What is my purpose?” I find this a very difficult question to answer. Because this leads me to multiple questions. “Am I living my purpose? What if I never find a purpose? What does it mean to have a purpose? Is there only one purpose to life?”
Most times this question really overwhelms me. Because I end up feeling that the question and its importance are bigger than my existence. There are other times I brush it off believing that I will find it eventually, and it’s only a matter of time. But there are times when I wonder if this question is a human way to find more control in our own life. Taking the reins in one’s own hand. This makes me wonder… that maybe the question itself is not a very great one to begin with?
I think that is why intentions matter so much. I might not know my purpose, but if I know my intentions in life, I can show up as who I want to be and that too has a purpose in a way. I feel a lot of existential questions we ask partly stem from curiosity and partly from wanting control and safety. So, I wonder what if our purpose was to live in a way where everything felt safe? What I mean is it doesn’t matter who I am, or why I am here, or what I do, but I should completely feel in sync and be in sync with everything around me. What if the modern humans’ purpose is to let go of these layers of fears, insecurities, pride, power, etc, that we have collected not just from our life but also that have been passed down to us from our ancestors? Shed it. Be reminded that we are, after all, just one in different forms and ways. Because even if this was our ultimate goal, with the way we are it would not just take one but multiple lifetimes to practice it fully. But we can begin today and hopefully, we will collectively get there at some point
Signing off for now!
See you next week 🙂