The Relationship with the Self

Martin Handy

9 Dec 2018

For most of our life we are pulled out of ourselves into the world of experience and relationships with other people. From the moment we are born we literally forget ourselves and only see, hear, touch, taste and smell the being of others and their interactions with us. It is like we forget ourselves and who we are and what this ‘I-ness’ or ‘me-ness’ actually is. We are simply plugged into the external world of people and experiences.

It is little wonder that we lose sense of ourselves, who we are, why we are here and what our purpose is. We lose the meaning of ourselves because we are so pulled out of ourselves into the world.

The process of self-unfoldment, self-awareness, self-consciousness and self-development is about returning to the core of who we are. For so long our own identity has been merged, obliterated, painted over and drowned in our connections with mother, father, partner, children, associates, society, politics, community and society and all the conditioning, trauma, abuse, injustice, mis-information, mis-education and inculcation of beliefs and attitudes, culture, religion and tradition. Gradually one returns to the source of who one really is, looking at one’s emotions, feelings, reactions, behaviours, attachments, addictions, habits, routines, beliefs, prejudice and traumas. We may not like what we see or experience within ourselves and we may resist or avoid looking inside for a long time before returning there feeling more able to deal with it. We may have lost our meaning and purpose in life because our lives have become so cluttered with these habits, overwhelming emotions and relentless negative thinking and all the resentment and malevolence that can come with all that. That is when we realise we have to change what is within and with that also the things that we have to change outside of us.

That journey within can be very profound and moving but also frustrating with the constant reminder of the past and the habits of mind and emotions. It is like we discover gradually what we are looking for inside us – the strength, the trust, the love and the reassurance that we are actually ok. Yes, the patterns and habits of the past flick back but we know we can find the peace of mind again inside. We simply keep going while we process and integrate those new ways of thinking, being and doing.

It is in the Self that we realise we can choose the old way or the new way. We learn to accept ourselves as we are – flawed and imperfect – that this realisation that our imperfections and flaws symbolise how perfect we actually are because that is actually what it means to be human. If we can realise our own flaws and weaknesses we can actually do something about them. In so doing we can accept and love others for their own flaws and weaknesses also. But while we remain intolerant and judgemental of our own flaws and weaknesses we are still going to project our own avoidance and denial of them onto others and expect other people to change and not ourselves. The process of self-development and change is about putting one’s own house in order first and then we will find meaning again in who we are and what we are built to do in this world.

It is a gradual process of increasing strength, awareness and knowledge, first of all about the ‘I’ or ‘me’ and realise what we need and not slide further into inner turmoil, a personal hell or living meaningless and purposeless lives in the world. As we get back our own sense of who we are, we change, we grow, we realise, we become more conscious and more knowledgeable.

How does that sound? Do you want some of that? Does that sound like you could work for that? It’s not easy changing your old habits of thinking, seeing, being and doing. Most people don’t want to take responsibility for themselves because they’re still stuck in that addiction or attachment of dependency on the parents, the state, the healthcare system, the welfare system, the drugs, the abusive relationship, the self-medication, the computer games, the wasting hours on mindless Internet surfing, the self-deception and self-delusion.

Have you decided to wake up? Have you decided to stop and start changing your thoughts about who you and who you want to be? Are you ready to enter creation?

Know thyself…


Have a look again at some of these themes and ideas in this article. What issues strike you as particularly strong or significant in your life? What things do you want to change? What does your life look like in 6 months’ time, a year or 3 years? What kind of person do you want to be? What kinds of things do you want around you? If you stay on the course you’re on at the moment what kind of life do you see yourself having in 6 months’ time, a year or 3 years?

Just visualise those two types of lives. Where do you wantot go? Who do you want to be?

©Martin Handy 2018