What is a Self?

When I was younger, I was often confused because people were always confused by me.

I look asian, that was for sure, but because I didn’t look very chinese, nor did I look malay or eurasian, people around us were often puzzled and took it upon themselves to solve the mystery of the hour, “where does she come from?” “what race does she belong to?”

Why people behave like this is another topic altogether, but their actions and thoughts towards me and my brother often made me ask myself too – “Who are you? Where do you come from?”

These 2 questions have accompanied me, and I take it as my mind’s way of not letting me forget my eventual purpose in this life.

The awareness that a Self exists and might be different than how it’s presented was expounded when my cousins and I used to watch Disney shows and I would relate more to Ariel the Mermaid, than Mulan the only Chinese “princess” in Disney movies.

If I am not the sum of my interests, likes, dislikes, am I then the sum of my thoughts, words, and actions?

While continuing the journey to find this Self, many things have happened. I have “betrayed” her multiple times – the first time by going to university even though I didn’t want to, the second time when I chose to stay in Singapore to pursue a career I didn’t necessarily find interest in, and the third when I got married to someone I didn’t even like but knew I felt love for.

I used to think it was a betrayal when I made these decisions but I’ve recently realized these moments in my life weren’t failures – they were opportunities for me to experience the highs and lows in life in a much shorter amount of time than not.

The reactions and emotions I went through while experiencing these life events WERE the actual point of the events, not the fact that they happened. I needed to be brought back to intense emotions because before that, my life was a fucking grey piece of shit. There were no colours, only different versions of black mixed with white. It was terrifying, and life was giving me CPR to bring me back to life.

While I was going through the healing process, I remember realizing that the actual Self is the “third party” going through all of my memories of events, determining the cause and effect of those emotions/reacts. It was also the Self who then decided, what I was to make of them. How do I want to learn from the past? How do I want to move on into the future? It was when I was happy with both my answers that I was able to BE in the present.

Learning about the Human design, jung’s archetypes, and understanding that there is a distinct Self identity for all of us to eventually ‘remember’…..has been a huge turning point.

A big part of life has to be spent interrogating ourselves about the Self’s identity and purpose. If not, life will repeat itself until the lessons are learnt.

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