Who Am I? An Emotion? A Thought?
'I am...' are two of the most powerful words in the English language. Whatever words come after these define your reality.
However we choose to identify and define ourselves, we become subject to these labels. So while we sometimes think we are describing ourselves when we use the words 'I am', we are in fact creating ourselves. These two little words can destroy our lives, or take us to new heights of personal growth and self-actualization.
'I lost my temper a couple of times'
'I am an angry person'
'I have committed crime'
'I am a gangsta'
'I failed at some business ventures'
'I am a failure'
It turns our past actions, which were temporary, into permanent characteristics. We perpetuate the bad things in our lives by bringing them into the present, when we use the words 'I am'.
It is true, we might have done things, or even still do things, that show a particular pattern. But if these things are destructive, we shouldn't tie these actions to us permanently. Using language that indicates doing rather than being enables us to break these destructive habits much more quickly and release their grip on our lives.
Let's say I failed an academic examination.
I could say 'I failed my exam'.
Or I could say 'I am terrible at exams'.
The first choice leaves me free to pick myself up, study hard, and try my best in my next examination. The second choice pretty much ruins my academic career.
The power of 'I am' in the negative is easy to see. But what about its positive power?
In the Bible, 'I am' is the name of God, which shows just how powerful it is in that context.
Spiritual traditions that promote self-development have used the words 'I am' to accelerate spiritual growth. The idea is that we can use the words 'I am' to step outside our normal state of consciousness and into altered states of consciousness.
Examples of this include:
I am Peace
I am Love
I am Prosperity
I am Confidence
I am Heaven
I am the breath of God
I am the Light of the world
By saying these things, we become powerful to go beyond the boundaries of 'ourselves' into a mindstate that allows us to learn new things about ourselves and the universe, experience deeper and higher feelings, and gain self-transformative power.
It is common practice to choose one phrase to use during a meditation session or even for a whole day. If we continually repeat this to ourselves in our mind, it will change our entire outlook on life for that day as we think and behave in different ways to how we normally would. These effects lead to powerful new realizations that can change our lives forever.
Once we have tried these, we can try a new one, just 'I am', by itself. This is to help us focus solely on existence itself, rather than on any particular quality, whether positive or negative. Focusing on the single thought 'I am' may bring about some powerful emotions in us. These emotions will come from how we feel about our lives, ourselves, and life and existence in general. Through bringing these feelings to the forefront of our consciousness by meditation, we can grieve and express our sorrows we have collected throughout life. Having done this, we will be able to move past these feelings into a higher realization of who we truly are. We will find that if we continue to use 'I am' as a focus for meditation that we will move through many different feelings, realizations and levels of consciousness, as we peel back all our experiences and sensations we have stored as a response to existence itself. This means all the events of our lives will be felt, processed, and moved through in an abstract way. This is how we can become free from the chains of our past.
The power of 'I am' is indisputable. To ensure it is working for us and not against us, we have to be vigilant as to how we use it, consciously and unconsciously, in our internal thoughts and external speech. Putting 'I am' to deliberate use in mantras and meditations can inspire rapid personal growth and help us to turn our lives around. It can break the legacy of painful events in our lives, and reveal our own unconscious mind to ourselves in ways we had never thought possible.
- Iman Mohiki
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