Updated: Sep 17
Our identity, defined as "the fact of being who or what a person or thing is," is essentially a narrative that we continually construct and embellish within our minds.
Consider our minds as machines churning out a constant stream of stories. If we can observe our minds closely, we can discern these narratives.
Amidst the myriad stories, one holds particular importance — "my story," the unique narrative each of us harbours, distinct from anyone else's. Different individuals specialise in varying genres; some craft tales of tragedy, while others weave comedies or dramas. Yet, all these narratives are intrinsically tied to our individual past experiences. In the end, we realise that the self is nothing more than a story, not the genuine article.
Let's turn our gaze to the profiles we create on social networks, such as Facebook.
These profiles don't genuinely reflect our present reality. We often appear flawless in the photos we share and in our words. Deep down, let's admit it, envy sometimes lurks among us.
What role does truth play in the narratives we craft about ourselves?
Our minds are incessant story factories, subject to alterations akin to how news stories evolve on television. This habitual narrative creation verges on the absurd. If we aren't cautious, it can lead us toward self-destruction.
The pieces of our lives only fall into place when we recount these stories to ourselves or to others. It's then that they gain significance, infusing us with awareness.
We may entertain the fantasy of embarking on a retreat or dedicating a week or two to introspect and explore our inner selves. Yet, when we actually undertake this journey, we often encounter facets of ourselves we'd rather not acknowledge. It's a daunting but worthwhile endeavour.
Illusion isn't confined to self-perception; it extends to those around us. Consider the conflicts raging worldwide, where billions of people clash due to various fictions, stories, and illusions they ardently believe in. Living with unadulterated truth is challenging, as it can be harsh, causing suffering and pain. However, failing to distinguish between illusion and reality can lead to a distorted perception of reality, often unbeknownst to us. We end up living our lives tethered to false narratives, most of which are untrue.
Have you ever recognised this too?
— Loredana Denicola