Whether I’m gazing at a majestically sculptured building, reading of a startling medical breakthrough, or soaring over the earth during a transcontinental flight, I’m always awed by the genius of humanity.

The world is millions of years old, and yet, in only a comparatively short period of time, the accomplishments of humanity can no doubt only be referred to as miraculous. Question after question, and challenge after challenge arose, testing and stretching the explorers – the most brilliant scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, and philosophers – to put forth great effort to answer and conquer anything in the way of our understanding and control of life. The most profound questions and monumental challenges didn’t stop the explorers, who offered all they could to assist humanity in creating a happier and healthier life.

And yet, two questions have persisted throughout the beginning of life on earth. These questions are, actually, the very basis for our existence and our ultimate challenge. Until answered, these questions seem to place all our worldly achievements in proper perspective, reminding us how young and naïve we still are. The questions are: “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” and all of humanity’s worldly achievements are dimmed by the lack of insight that would be alleviated by these question’s elusive answers.

While most of my work is dedicated to helping people figure out how to share their gifts and how to get the most from life, which is, essentially, the “Why am I here?” part, this article focuses on the other question “Who am I?” My intention is not to offer you the answer, although I wish I could, but to enlighten you to know that you are not alone in not knowing. And that there is deep peace in the fact that, while we’re here, we’ll never really know.

So many people struggle to find themselves. They look in the mirror with hopes of seeing something they’d like to see, but are usually discouraged by the image of who they think they see. Worse is, that it’s not just our own image we see in the mirror, it’s the picture of how we think everyone else sees us as well. It’s no wonder why we don’t know who we are, how could we? We aren’t at all in touch with our authentic self, only an illusion of shoulds, coulds, and usually musts that we feel we have to accomplish to finally be our true self. Think about what this means. We will never really know our true self, because all we are is a definition given to us by the past, others, and even our own self.

It’s so confusing and challenging to figure out who we really are because we have no basis other than from outside of us. So most of us give up trying to figure it all out and decide instead to play a game of distraction. Distracting ourselves from the pain of not remembering our true self and burying our search in the questions and challenges outside of us, which were far easier to comprehend and overcome.

We are so unwilling to let our light shine. We’d prefer to remain distracted for fear of actually being responsible for our lives. We are actually blinded by the darkness – unwilling to grow and so, unwilling to really live. In Relax, You’re Already Perfect: 10 Spiritual Lessons… to Remember, I present the nature of our true self as Unconditional Love. This cannot be seen in any mirror. But we’ll still look for it; hoping that one day we’ll see the truth. The truth cannot be seen. The truth cannot be spoken, nor heard. In fact, trying to discern the truth from any physical sense is like trying to salt your fries with whipped cream – just the wrong tool for the job.

Please don’t get me wrong; I never said playing the game of distraction was a bad thing to do. It’s all a game; there is no good or bad. What I am saying is that the key to remembering more of our true self lies in our own hands, but we can’t see it. The key is hidden beneath fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, and yes, whipped cream.

High upon a mountain, conversing with a burning bush, Moses was told that God has not a name, but is a level of consciousness called “I AM.” The I AM consciousness is the highest level of awareness in the Universe. It is the image and likeness of God from which we were created.

Ultimately, the answer to the question, “Who am I?” is, “I AM.” This seems so simple and yet is so complicated. This is because I AM -- the nature of our true selves -- is immeasurable.

In the Jewish tradition, the word God is usually hyphenated as G-D. Jews are taught that you don’t take Gods name in vain, as by writing the word. And while this may mean different things to different people, I find a very profound message in this: By writing the name of God, we automatically limit God by trying to define that word by our words. You cannot define the indefinable. You cannot limit the limitless. And as expressions of God, we are, by our very nature, indefinable, limitless, and indescribable. Why try to figure it out? Don’t bother. Instead, consider the idea that we are a mystery. We are not who we see in the mirror. We are so much more.

Please ask yourself this: if you were to accept yourself as a beautiful mystery, and didn’t distract yourself in the process, how would your life be different? I maintain that there is deep peace when you let go of your ego and not have to know. Instead of having to know, try having faith. Faith that you will never know and don’t have to, faith that you are beyond human description, and faith that regardless of the image you see in the mirror, you are always, and in all ways, more than you think you are.

So where do we go from here? I wish I coined the slogans from NIKE, “Just do it,” and Nissan, “Enjoy the Ride.” But I will combine their wisdom and suggest a direction to go. Regardless of our inability to figure out the mysteries of life, we’re here anyway. So regarding life: Just do it, and… enjoy the ride!

Bruce D Schneider, Ph.D., MCC is a Master Certified Coach, licensed psychotherapist, Reiki Master, founder and director of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (www.IPECcoaching.com), and author of, Relax, You’re Already Perfect: 10 Spiritual Lessons… to Remember (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2002).

Author's Bio: 

Bruce D Schneider was virtually dead at age 18. In 1978, a late-evening highway encounter with a drunk driver left him on his deathbed. Miraculously, he not only survived this horrific accident, but against all odds, went on to a complete recovery. Why?

This is the question that has motivated him for more than twenty years through the study of psychology, hypnotherapy, metaphysical research, spiritual teachings, and countless hours of personal meditation. Bruce found his answers, and his purpose – to empower others to get their answers.

No longer the object of wonder to the medical community, Dr. Schneider is again the focus of attention – this time with his acclaimed book, Relax, You’re Already Perfect: 10 Spiritual Lessons… to Remember (Hampton Roads Publishing), and his powerful and inspiring workshops, seminars, coaching sessions, and professional coaching training.

Dr. Schneider’s message is profoundly simple: “Open your eyes to your magnificence and limitless possibilities appear.” His renowned book details this principle through ten empowering, and sometimes eye-opening, lessons. Filled with practical applications for an everyday spiritual experience, his book is being recognized by leaders in the New Consciousness movement and Self-help genre, such as James Redfield (author of The Celestine Prophecy) Stephen Rechtschaffen, Ph.D. (author of TimeShifting and co-founder of the Omega Institute) and Carolyn Myss, Ph.D., (author of Anatomy of the Spirit). Myss calls it “Some of the best practical advice on spiritual self-help that I have ever read!”

Testimonials about the impact of Bruce’s work are mounting. His lecture and workshop attendees have reported life-changing results from powerful and practical information and exercises. Participants are surprised to learn that enhanced happiness, health, wisdom, and wealth are within their reach not by driving themselves to make things happen but by breaking though their own self-created limitations and finding their own power and gifts to share with everyone around them.

Bruce was awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees from William Paterson College and Rutgers University, respectively. A successful entrepreneur, business executive, and former semi-professional athlete, he is the founder and director of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching in New Jersey and California,.

Bruce D Schneider, Ph. D., is a Master Certified Life Coach, Licensed psychotherapist, Reiki Master, renowned speaker, and founder of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching ( www.IPECcoaching.com).