The first step in becoming the real me is to realise that I’m much more than just my body, my feelings and my actions. Some people would call this a soul; I call it ‘The Real Me.’ The Real Me is amazing and capable of all sorts of things, including real love, courage, purpose and compassion. It is the true reflection of who I really am.

However, I have experienced and learned many things from my family, community, television and friends from the day I was born. Some of these experiences were painful, and so I decided to protect myself in different ways: I would not show my true feelings, in case I was rejected. I have been told that I am not good enough, so it must be true. I am only loved when I behave the way they expect me to. There are many such deep decisions that I have made. Despite these painful decisions, The Real Me has remained the same. We will call all these beliefs and behaviours that come from painful experiences ‘The Pain Person.’

I do not become The Real Me in a moment of “Aha!” Instead, being The Real Me is a gradual process of remembering that The Real Me is much bigger than the situation I’m in. It’s bigger than the hurt I feel, the feelings I’m feeling and the thoughts I’m thinking.

A Real Me can be 13 or 85 years old. It is anyone who can step out of his or her own situation, Pain Person thought and feelings, and say: “Does this serve the Real Me?” Similarly, A Real Me looks at another human being, and sees these two parts: The Real Person inside, and The Pain Person outside. Then he or she speaks and acts in a way that supports The Real Person, not The Pain Person. Let us take violence as an example: Do you think that The Real Me would use violence to get their way? Of course not! There is no courage, love or quality in violence.

Instead, it is simply a Pain Person expressing his or her pain, trying desperately to convince themselves that they’re powerful enough to drive away the pain through actions. Would a person who knew that he or she was really amazing do such a thing? Of course not. A Pain Person would therefore often use violence, whether in the form of hurtful words or fists. A Pain Person is still an angry, hurt child, even while stuck in the adult body. I contain these two parts: The Real Me and The Pain Person. I am whatever part of these two that I allow to control me.


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