We need to know that it is not what we are, but who we are that is important. We may believe that we are a product of our environment, that who we are is created by our surroundings, because we react and then become; this is not so. You can live anywhere, become anything, no matter the circumstances. Who we are fundamentally has nothing to do with the outside world. Inside of ourselves lies the beginning and the end of who we really are. Nothing truly penetrates our core. Not our families, our friends, our work, our dreams, nothing does. For we are and will always remain only what we are on the inside. Realizing that our being holds our happiness, that it is not related to the the outer world, will help us. When we think our happiness comes from an external source, we will lose it. When we believe that what creates us is on the outside, then we are lost. Who we are is always the same, regardless of our situation, our environment, or those around us. We are unchangeable unless we choose to change ourselves, so then the story of us begins with us and ends with us, it does not come from anywhere else.

Are we happy with ourselves? That is the only question that matters. Again, external issues mean nothing; it is you that matters the most in your own happiness. When you are happy, what are you feeling, what is it connected to, why is it there? Try not to connect it to an external source, for that is always temporary, instead look at what is happening in you at that very moment. What led up to that feeling? All of this is connected, how you feel, what you thought, where you are in your life because it is you that holds it all together.

Imagine erasing everything in your life; take away your identity, who you think you are, what you are responsible for, what everything means to you, all those you are connected to and erase it all. Imagine in it's place is nothingness, open, vast, and clear, nothing is there. There is no connection to anything, but you in the center awake and alone. Now look at yourself, without anything else. What do you feel in this place with no ideas, issues, problems, connections, who are you? How do you see and feel with nothing there to respond to? Who you are here is truly what you are with nothing in the way. Take away everything and you are. This is not to say you are alone or unconnected, for you are; this is taking away all that distracts us, confuses us, and, most importantly, all that is not us.

We are connected to everything and are a part of everything, but we are not everything. When we think we have to have something in order to be ourselves, this is not true. When we identify ourselves by others, our job, or what we do or did, this is not us. We are only who we are right now with nothing. Let it all go; envision openness everywhere around you. This is you. It is not what you think you are connected to or what you think your life is, instead it is really what you feel when there is nothing.

Attach to nothing, strive for openness and clarity within yourself, instead of seeking outwards for confirmation, for it is not there. Our most meaningful truth is who we really are and nothing else. No matter the situation, moment, or event, what is us lies beneath that. Stop identifying yourself by external situations, for that changes constantly and causes us to feel loss, sadness, regret, and confusion. Instead, identify yourself by how you feel within without a connection to what labels you. Be yourself without this clarification that life has placed on you. Stop identifying yourself by life. Instead empty your mind; let it go and remain with only yourself. What are you, what is you? This is the only true thing in life, who you are when there is nothing to be attached to. We are always connected, but we are not truly connected to our attachments, ideas, or identities in any way. Happiness comes from letting go of this, feeling our true selves and being only this.

Author's Bio: 

Open up to the peace you will find when you finally see yourself, your true self, and learn how to truly be in the moment at Answers in Writing.

Adam Benedetto and Zoe Young are both dedicated to enabling others to reach their full potential in life, to help others release what is holding them back, and to find their true selves. Through years of experience and development, both have sought out the answers we all need to find peace, understand ourselves, and reach enlightenment.