The "I"

"I am so tired. I am in so much pain. I can't stand it anymore. When will I get better? I feel so sick." Beginning at a very young age human beings learn to distinguish themselves as separate from everyone else. A sense of "I" develops and an ego forms. Senses become associated with who one is-- the self. Feeling becomes, "I feel." Hurting becomes "I hurt." An illusion is created that these senses are the self...the person.

It is easy to understand how this occurs. After all the person standing across from you is not the one feeling the pain you are feeling. You are feeling it so it seems like it is part of you. It is...it is your experience but it is not the same as being you. It requires great care to be able to maintain a line of separation between what one's senses are and who his/her self really is. One may feel pain but one is not pain but rather a person experiencing it.

For folks living with chronic physical illnesses, it can sometimes be a struggle to not lose sight of who the self is. The body may feel broken but that does not mean you are broken. I do not want to minimize any of the discomfort, pain or suffering that a person living with a chronic illness may experience. I do want to acknowledge that these sensations do not have to define a person. All human life is a series of sensations and experiences but that is not what separates us from each other...we are all the same in this way. Our differences, our uniqueness, our "I" lies in how we live given the sensations or experiences we are dealt in life.

Who are you?