What I learned when I met myself in the cosmos
The calendar tells me I haven’t written a blog post in exactly three years. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I write almost every day, and I’m nearing the completion of a memoir. Writing the memoir has been a bit like gestating a baby, if that baby is an elephant that refuses to leave the womb even though it’s nearly full grown.
Still, I feel guilty for not having kept this blog up, because I wanted it to be a way to examine my own growth, and then share that growth with others, even if the others are just a few friends and family.
But yesterday I had an experience. A deep one. A profound one. An ineffable one, which means I can’t actually put it into words that you will clearly understand. What I can say clearly is that the experience reminded me it’s time again to be honest with myself — and anyone else who might read this — about who I am now.
Yesterday, in a moment of intense insight that I can only call “mystical,” I saw myself. I mean, really saw myself. Who I was. Who I am. Who I will be. I peered deep into the cracked mirror of my life and saw myself reflected in every crystal shard.
You might think this was scary — and it was — but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the universe. Because in that moment, I saw how, for my entire life, I’ve been hiding from myself. All this time, I’ve been afraid to really see myself. Because I was afraid I would hate what I saw.
But yesterday, I looked in that mirror and saw it all.
I saw who I was in the past:
- The lonely child of an anxious mother and angry father
- The scared teenager who hid himself from the world
- The bitter young man who unintentionally hurt others out of his own fear
- The flawed husband who failed at two marriages
- The terrified father who nearly lost his daughter to a tragic accident
I saw who I am in the present:
- The talented professional who feels incompetent much of the time
- The father and husband who sometimes feels he doesn’t deserve his loving family
- The introspective dreamer who often feels out of place in the real world
- The aging person who has struggled with anxiety and depression for decades
- The regretful man who has coped with those struggles in unhealthy ways for far too long
Yesterday, in that transient moment of crystal clarity — which I can only assume is akin to the mystical transcendence experienced more permanently by folks like Jesus, the Buddha, and the great sages of old — I saw myself clearly for who I am. I knew myself in the deepest way possible.
In that soul mirror, I saw who I always have been and who I always will be. I saw that my eternal self is:
- At one with everyone and everything around me
- Designed for struggle and pain and evolution
- Full of eternal potential for change and growth
- Awakening to the awe of everything around me
- Deeply loved by a universe that created me for a purpose
Yesterday, in that flash of indescribable recognition, I understood that everything in the universe is designed to help me answer just one question: Who am I?
And in that moment, all the broken pieces of my life reassembled themselves into a perfect mirror that answered that very question. I looked deep into that mirror and saw it all: flaws, struggles, pain, beauty, wholeness, perfection. I saw myself for who I really, truly am.
I recognized myself in the mirror and — for the first time in my life — I loved what I saw.