A person is like a country.
The boundary gives it its name.
And to say “I have a body” is as if a country could speak in one voice and say “I have a landscape.”
Indeed it has rivers, hills, valleys, perhaps even snow tops. And this is much like our body has a circulatory, respiratory, integumentary and other systems.
Therefore asking “who am I?” is the wrong question and, instead, one must ask “what are all the things that I am?”
After all, one can never know a country unless one knows it in its entirety and you will never know yourself unless you accept fully everything that you are as part of who you are.
When you viscerally dislike someone it is likely because they unabashedly and externally exhibit attributes you have placed great effort in keeping concealed within you. Likewise when you viscerally like someone it is because they unabashedly and externally exhibit those things you would like to and strive to embody externally yourself.
You know you are not being yourself when you are bothered by the presence of those that are just like you are being.
Getting to know yourself is much like trying to find the core of an onion by peeling it. In the end what you will find is that there is nothing left of you to identity with the self. And what you truly are is the space you occupy. Thinking you have some sort of identity is as foolish as a bubble thinking it’s something other than the air inside it.
If seeking the approval of others is the principle by which you live by, then you will find this to be no principle at all for you will become someone different from one day and person to the next. Principles are to be like columns to your character, not the sails that follow the whims of the open sea. You must choose. Become one of the columns for greatness, or maneuver yourself between them to extract what you can from the host. Be a parasite or be a person. Pick one for you can not be both!
A loathing of the self, be it manufactured through guilt, or otherwise, may lead to phobia of one’s own person. These individuals will likely proceed to consume recreational drugs or modify themselves physically in ways by which to hide themselves from themselves. Methods include tattoos, piercings, hair or skin color changes and even gender reassignment. As long as the self is dissatisfied with the attributes of the self,specifically those that are innate and traditionally unchangeable, a downward spiral of debt will ensue leading to profound anxiety, depression and even suicide. Consequently the only ones that will survive such a mental state are the very rich. And why among the wealthy are found circulating many warped individuals.
(From the Fractal Order by HC Mehdi)