Not all who wander are lost: My search for my Self

Over the course of my life, I have been on quite the journey. From infancy to adulthood, many aspects of my life story would both compel and terrify those willing to hear it.

I have always felt that I am searching for something, but never sure of what that something was. It has been as though I was wandering from place to place, never sure of where my destination would be. Even today it seems as though every time I find my “place”, it transpires that this is not my destination.

What I have realised is that the journey I am on does not have a fixed destination. I am on a journey into my Self. I am exploring my own experience of the world, and ultimately searching for my true Self. This is where it gets complicated.

Human beings grow and change over time, I am not the same person that I was ten years ago. In the same way, the journey into my Self has changed me. I am forever in a foreign land, because the land changes as I journey through it. My experience of learning the topography of my inner world, changes my inner world.

In this sense, the Self is not a fixed entity. It is not a quantifiable objective experience. The idea that we alter our inner worlds, by exploring the inner world that exists most likely sounds akin to what the old world would have deemed lunacy. However, it is necessary to acknowledge that we are not a fixed point.

When considering what the Self is, I believe it is necessary to consider it more as a fluid and flowing stream. We form around the environments that we exist in, and by necessity alter our course in order to explore where we have been.

Some might ask if I see myself in my child. I would point out to them that my child has their own Self, still taking shape in the environment. As a part of their environment, I alter the course of their Self, but they will never be the same as me. Any attempt to force them into my inner experiences of the world would do them an injustice.

Indeed, it is necessary to consider that each of us will experience our Self in a unique way to the other.

So, what is the destination on my journey?

In truth, their is no ultimate destination that one can fathom. Much like the wave that breaks on the shore and returns to the ocean, so too will I return to the ocean. The ever-changing Self is a fleeting experience, and that is a gift I must learn to be grateful for.

The journey is the destination. Now it is on us to ensure that our journey leaves the world better than how we found it.

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