Self realization is actually about realizing that most of what you consider to be your “self” is an illusion… Just layer upon layer that are better pealed away. Everything we identify with; our thoughts, our feelings, the roles we play, our ideas and creations, our bodies, and so forth, are such “layers”. We need them to navigate in this world, but they are not identical with our true self.
Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago on this subject:
Passing by I look for myself in windowpane reflections
But I don’t recognize the person looking back at me
All I see is a woman hurrying – somewhere – looks important
I cannot see me in there
What is so important that I left myself behind?
Sitting down on a bench I search the thoughts flowing through my mind
For some sign of my true presence
Is that me obsessing about work, or enjoying the sunset before me?
Feeling depressed by my limited scope, recognizing only issues
I lose myself in the scenery…
The sky and the sun painting their watercolor palette,
Dissolving into the lush green forest,
Diving into the cool embracing waters
Taking in the whole picture
The ever present, ever changing, beauty of it all
I discover myself
Feeling fulfilled and rested I get up to go
Slipping away from the present moment again
Continuing to search for myself in windowpane reflections