Cherie Hanson
4 min readMay 15, 2021

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What am I? Why do I do that? Who do I want to be?

The question of who I am comes to mind frequently. Brain studies indicate that much of the thought habits that fill my mind are leftover scenarios of survival advice from the script of childhood. We are discovering that 90% of thoughts are from the limbic brain or the subconscious mind. Buddhist, Tao studies and the scientific investigation reveals to us that much of the cellular memory has been constructed from the decisions of our ancestors. The society, the culture, the sub-culture, the familial culture all create our “impact geography” of structured self.

Where in the conflux of all of these elements is the place to stand? Where in the dynamic of conditioning, imprinting, inheritance is my soul space?

The question of who I am comes to mind frequently. And it is to be discovered, this continent of me, in the space between thought and the habit of action. As Eckhart Tolle explained, the pain-body has a driving motivation. How fully we see ourselves depends on how quickly we understand the motivation of our own thoughts. To ask the question, “Why do you want to do that?” can give me time to be curious. To ask the question, “What is your body feeling right now? can give me the manner to connect to what emotions are being triggered.

The calm place between thought and action is how I find myself. It is how I discover and learn to love myself.

At the bottom of the well, if I stick my head way, way down with a flashlight, is fear. I will crust it over, armour it in anger. Because anger feels strong and because anger will protect me, I place anger in front of fear to protect it. But the problem is that I have now hidden my fear. It is in a costume. In the deepest part of the dark cave, is a scared being.

The problem with anger is that it gets in the way. When I feel angry, defensive, I have now put myself into a state where I cannot love. I cannot love others, but most harmful of all, I can no longer love myself. When we step out into the world gently, with no armour, with an authentic smile on our faces, our hearts feel big. We feel at home in the world.

The problem with anger is it masks the real problem of feeling unsafe. The frightened child is still hiding and now it feels even more unloveable.

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