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Chapter 7: Finding Who You Truly Are

How you react to people and situations, especially when challenges arise, is the best indicator of how deeply you know yourself.

You might say, “Peace is all I want,” until the phone rings. Bad news: The stock market has collapsed. The car has been stolen. Your mother-in-law has arrived. Your partner has left you. Suddenly there is a surge of anger, of anxiety: “I can't take this.” You accuse, blame, defend, or justify yourself, and it's all happening on autopilot. Something is more important to you now than the inner peace that you said was all you wanted. The money, the loss, or the threat of loss are more important. To whom? To the small me that seeks security or fulfillment in things that are transient and gets anxious or angry because it fails to find it. Well, at least now you know who you really think you are.

If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace and remain nonreactive and alert when confronted with challenging people or situations. You will immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it. Then out of your alertness will come a powerful and effective response which makes no person or situation into an enemy. It is at this moment that you decide what kind of relationship you want to have with the present moment and thus with life. When you are present and your attention is fully in the now, that presence will flow into and transform what you do. There will be quality and power in it.

Actions to take