Who Am I Really? – The Layers of Self and Finding Inner Peace, Joy, Love and Happiness

Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

If I asked you the question
“who are you?”

What would you say?

You might think you already have a good idea of the answer to this question, read on to see if there is more to you than what you think…

BUT FIRST – I would like you to get in touch with your breath right now. To connect with your breath and relax and mindfully read this article…

By asking yourself deeply…

Who am I?

… you may actually unlock your greatest treasures…

Who am I… really?

To understand who we really are is easier if we first consider…

Who I am NOT:

I am not

  • my thoughts
  • my past experiences
  • my personality
  • my values
  • my beliefs
  • my name
  • my occupation
  • my hobbies
  • my gender/sexual orientation
  • my family or relationship status
  • my health status….etc

We are not anything that has been created in our (or somebody else’s) mind.

These things form my identity and – as I like to refer to it – as a part of, my Thought-Made self

but they are not who I am – deep down.

 Because all these things can change.

And I am not my body either (that is my physical self), more on that shortly.

Who I am – deep down- in my inner being, my heart, my spirit – is unchanging.

It’s that part of you that has always been you, since you were a child and is still you now. If you look deeply you can feel your inner you-ness.

Every other person in the world is the same as you in this regard.

Who I AM: 

I am…

  • Love
  • Spirit
  • Heart
  • Connection to Source/God/Universe
  • Oneness with all humans and all living things
  • Oneness with ALL that is
  • Energy
  • Infinite Potential & Creativity
  • Consciousness
  • Peace
  • Eternal…etc


I am the thinker of the thoughts
NOT the thoughts themselves.

Meditation can be the Key to Finding the Real You

When we practice meditation it helps us to feel this subtle, but fundamental and life-affirming truth.

This breath focus meditation can be used to introduce you to the practice of meditation. If you have never practiced meditation before please use the video, before continuing the article.

Meditation helps to show you that your thoughts are not you, because you were the one noticing the thoughts. The ‘noticer’ is the real you. The noticer/thinker is your inner-self. The authentic ‘ME’.

That is who you are.

You are the thinker of the thoughts NOT the thoughts themselves.

So hopefully now you have spent some time in meditation you can see the differences between the Thought-Made self (the ego… and the things we create and ‘have’) and the true Inner Self (the spirit/the heart).

The goal, therefore, is to try to be aware of the place of ‘WHO I AM’ i.e. the authentic ‘ME’, the Inner Self at all times;

To be that way in your interactions with everybody in the world and to let everybody else live that way too.

This is the place where inner peace, joy, love and happiness comes from and where we shall focus on accessing throughout this and forthcoming articles.

If this is something new to you, please take some time to really reflect on it.

It’s ok for this stuff to be challenging.

It’s also ok for this stuff to resonate deeply with you.

The Physical Self

As my Physical Self, I can only experience the things I can sense with my five senses.

(Unless I’m spiritually/energetically atuned,) I can’t feel your Inner Self/spirit because it’s ‘intangible’ (*Intangible – adjective meaning -unable to be touched; not having physical presence.)

I can only feel:

  • the things you create in the Thought-Made self…
  • that originate from your Inner Self…
  • that have become physical for my senses to sense.

Here’s an example: you play piano – the music originates from the inner self, through thought and into the body – upon when I can sense it from ‘you’ – I cannot sense it, until it is expressed by the body.

But I know I have a spirit, an inner self.

And because I know I have.

I also know you must have too.

That we’re all the same in this regard, because we all come from the same source.

And I know we can connect them and relate to each other on that level because we know each other in this way.

I just have to get out of the space of Physical Self and Thought-Made self first.

And you do too.

Then, you and I can actually connect our Inner Self/spirit ~ energetically. I can even ‘feel’ your energy and mine connecting from ‘your’ Inner Self/spirit to ‘mine’.

That is how we love.

And as we deepen this we actually realise then there is no ‘you’ and ‘me’, just Oneness with all things and actually ‘I’ am ‘you’ and ‘you’ are ‘me’. No separateness. We are all one.

Using the Layers of Thought-Made Self and Physical Self to Find Inner Peace, Joy, Love and Happiness

Ok, so just tap into that inner place of calm and love, all day, every day, right?

Well… yes and no.

It is infinitely powerful and can lead to great peace, strength and insights, but…

We also need thought and all its power.

We have work to do.

We have tangible things to create and problems to solve.

We need thought.

Thought is the most powerful super-computer accessible to us, it gives us great intelligence, problem-solving, drive, social skills, creativity and much more.

But we want to use the mind/Thought-Made self as a tool. Thought’s coming from the place of our highest inner guidance. When we live our life in this order, we become very skilful.

The Mind: a beautiful servant, a dangerous master


To enable this, we want to connect the Inner Self and the Thought-Made Self, get them communicating and working in harmony to manifest our greatest power in the Physical Self (and the physical selves of ‘others’) to become the greatest version of ourselves.

To achieve our greatest potential.

We want to be able to keep the two facets working together so we can do amazing things in the world, live in love and compassion for each other and be able to grow and solve all the world’s problems together.

To do that I need to be:

David the Writer, Coach, Musician, 45 years old, father, partner, friend, living in the UK, ex-anxiety sufferer, ginger-haired (albeit a lot of grey haha), a few extra pounds yadda, yadda, yadda.

We need to have an identity so we can learn and grow, find our place in the world and do our ‘thang’… to do great work, to love, to connect with each other and to make the world a better place.

I also need a holder, a vessel, a body…to contain my inner self and my thought-made self. That is the physical self, the things that you can sense on the outside.

We are, and can’t exist without the three things.

Inner Self, Thought-Made Self and Physical Self.

Also by knowing that we are all the same underneath we can connect with each other on that basis if we choose to look past the thought-made self and the perceived separateness that comes from there.

The thought-made self is what makes us all different, the inner self is what makes us all the same.

And when you can access the Inner Self you will truly find happiness, peace and joy there.

Knowing Yourself

We all have this layer of thought-made self that we’ve been growing throughout our lifetime.

Part of this, we can also call it Ego, the term defined by Sigmund Freud. In my work, I share many techniques and practices to help you find more calm, which also serve to help you to know thought-made self better.

Ego is the place where our self exists. It’s the place where you and I are communicating with each other right now.

We can also look past ego to access the place where ego doesn’t exist, the Inner Self too. These words may also be received in that Inner Self too.

In my articles we’ll work on helping you to understand the (often paradoxical) universal truths that we’re all working with, the truths of the Inner-Self. These truths have been discussed in spirituality and philosophy for thousands of years.

And we’ll also discuss the unique truths of you, the truths of you yourself. Your thought-made self and your ego.

Some of these egoic truths we have similarities with other humans, as we all have ego.

A lot of your feelings, needs, behaviours (which are all just thoughts), you do the same as everybody else.

All us humans have a lot of similar thoughts.

And you also have your individuality.

The truths of you.

The ones that make you uniquely you.

These are your thought-made self, your life story, your experiences, your values, your choices, your insecurities, your strength, your confidence, your weaknesses. Your individuality.

I couldn’t possibly know what these things are, but I hope to help you to do this work on yourself so YOU DO.

So you know what makes you tick. (Above and beyond, the things that make us all tick.)

Having this self-awareness is massively important for your peace of mind and your relationships with others.

It helps us to let go AND it helps us to persevere. Both are just as important as each other in life.

With self-awareness, humanity awareness and spiritual awareness we are whole and strong and have access to everything.

And at the same time, we need nothing.

With no awareness of these things we have access to nothing and we need everything.

No wonder we’re stressed eh?

The great thing is, once we know where the truth lies, we can access it more and more. And when we live in truth, we live in peace and joy and love.

Know thyself – Socrates

Please consider the diagram above for a while.

It is intended to demonstrate the layers of self.

The Inner-Self, who we truly are at our core.

The Thought-Made Self which is what has been created.

The Physical Self which is the container for both.

Please consider these layers and where things sit within you (everybody else).

We’ll be discussing and shaping the concepts as we develop more articles.

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Be always in a place where the mind/thought-made self and the body are servants to the inner-self. The inner-self is the master and the mind/thought-made self and body are tools for accessing mastery.

In there is where your happiness, peace and joy are.

Enjoy the journey inward.

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