Awareness of your true self is the difference between feeling empowered or feeling like a victim.
Here are four short stories that explain the importance of becoming aware of our true self.
1: The Lion and the Sheep
There was once a pregnant lion that was on its last legs. She dies soon after giving birth. The newborn not knowing what to do, makes its way into a nearby field and mingles with a herd of sheep. The mother sheep sees the cub and decides to raise it as its own.
And so the lion cub grows up along with the other sheep and starts thinking and acting just like a sheep. It would bleat like a sheep and even eat grass.
But it was never truly happy. For one, it always felt that there was something missing. And secondly, the other sheep would constantly make fun of it for being so different.
They would say, “You are so ugly and your voice sounds so weird. Why can’t you bleat properly like the rest of us? You are a disgrace to the sheep community!”
The lion would just stand there and take in all these remarks feeling extremely sad. It felt it had let down the sheep community by being so different and that it was a waste of space.
One day, an older lion from a far off jungle sees the herd of sheep and decides to attack it. While attacking, it sees the young lion running away along with the other sheep.
Curious as to what was happening, the older lion decides to stop chasing the sheep and pursues the younger lion instead. It pounces on the lion and growls asking it why it is running away with the sheep?
The younger lion shakes in fear and says, “please don’t eat me, I am just a young sheep. Please let me go!”.
Upon hearing this, the older lion growls, “That’s nonsense! You are not a sheep, you are a lion, just like me!”.
The younger lion simply repeats, “I know I am a sheep, please let me go”.
At this point the older lion gets an idea. It drags the younger lion to a river nearby and asks it to look at its reflection. Upon looking at the reflection, the lion much to its own astonishment realizes who it really was; it was not a sheep, it was a mighty lion!
The young lion feels so thrilled that it let’s out a mighty roar. The roar echoes from all corners of the jungle and frightens the living daylights out of all the sheep that were hiding behind the bushes to see what was happening. They all flee away.
No longer will the sheep be able to make fun of the lion or even stand close to it for the lion had found its true nature and its true herd.
Moral of the story:
The lion in the story is unaware of its true potential because of limiting beliefs that it inherits from its surroundings.
The older lion in the story is a metaphor for ‘self awareness’ and looking at the reflection in the water is a metaphor for ‘self reflection’.
When the lion becomes aware of its limiting beliefs through self reflection it realizes its true nature. It is no longer influenced by its surroundings and develops a bigger vision in alignment with its nature.
You might have been brought up in surroundings that were negative and hence gave you a lot of limiting beliefs about yourself. Bad parenting, bad teachers, bad peers can all have these negative influences on us when we are young.
As an adult, it is easy to lose yourself in negative thoughts and to start feeling like a victim by blaming the past. But that will only keep you stuck in the current reality. To change your reality and find your tribe, you need to start working on your inner self and focus all your energy towards becoming self aware.
The older lion in this story is not an external entity. It is an internal entity. It lives right inside you. The older lion is your true self, your awareness. Allow your awareness to shine light onto all your limiting beliefs and find who you truly are.
2: Elephant and the Pig
An elephant was walking toward its herd after taking bath in a nearby river. On its way the elephant sees a pig walking towards it. The pig as usual was coming after a relaxing dip in muddy waters. It was covered in mud.
Upon approaching closer, the pig sees the elephant moving out of its way allowing the pig to pass. While walking past, the pig makes fun of the elephant accusing the elephant of being afraid of it.
It also tells this to other pigs standing nearby and they all laugh at the elephant. Upon seeing this, some elephants from the herd ask their friend in amazement, “Were you really afraid of that pig?”
To which the elephant replies, “No. I could have crushed that pig under my leg if I wanted to, but the pig was muddy and the mud would have splashed on me too. I wanted to avoid that, hence I stepped aside.”
Moral of the story:
The mud covered pig in the story is a metaphor for negative energy. When you interact with negative energy, you allow your space to be infiltrated by that energy too. The evolved way is to let go of such petty distractions and focus all your energy on your goals instead.
Even though the elephant must have felt anger, it did not allow the anger to evoke an automatic emotional reaction. Instead it responded after careful examination of the situation and that response was to let the pig go.
Once you are in a higher state of vibration (more self aware), you are no longer be distracted by petty things. You no longer automatically react to all external stimuli. You have a deeper understanding of what serves you and what does not.
Spending your precious energy arguing/fighting with someone who is egoistically motivated is never going to serve you. It just leads to a, ‘who is better’ battle where no one wins. You end up giving your energy to an energy vampire who craves attention and drama.
Instead, you are better off spending all your focus on things that matter and simply discard things that are of a lower significance.
3: Monkey and the Fish
The fish loved the river. It felt blissful swimming around in its clear blue waters. One day while swimming closer to the river banks it hears a voice say, “hey, fish, how is the water?”.
The fish raises its head above the water to see who it was. It sees a monkey seated on a branch of a tree extended over the water.
The fish replies, “The water is nice and warm, thank you”.
The monkey feels jealous of the fish and wants to put it down. It says, “why don’t you come out of the water and climb this tree. The view from here is amazing!”
The fish feeling a little sad, replies, “I don’t know how to climb a tree and I cannot survive without water”.
Hearing this the monkey makes fun of the fish saying, “you are totally worthless if you cannot climb a tree!”
The fish starts thinking about this remark day and night and becomes extremely depressed, “yes, the monkey is right”, it would think, “I cannot even climb a tree, I must be worthless.”
A sea-horse sees the fish feeling all depressed and asks it what the reason was. Upon knowing the reason, the sea-horse laughs and says, “If the monkey thinks you are worthless for not being able to climb the tree, then the monkey is worthless too cause it cannot swim or live under water.”
Upon hearing this the fish suddenly realized how gifted it was; that it had the ability to survive under water and swim freely which the monkey never could!
A few days later, news comes to the fish that the monkey had slipped accidentally and fallen into the water and reached its demise as it could not swim.
The fish feels thankful to nature for giving it such an amazing ability.
Moral of the story:
This story takes from Einstein’s quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.
Take a look at our education system that judges everyone based on the same criterion. Coming out of such a system, it’s easy for many of us to start believing that we are actually less gifted than others. But the reality is far from it.
The fish in the story attains self realization. It realizes what its true power was thanks to its friend. In a similar way, the only way to realize our true potential is to become self aware. The more awareness we bring into our mind and body, the more we realize our true potential.
In this regard, the practice of meditation is your best friend as that’s the only path to self realization.
4: The man and his horse
A monk slowly walks along a road when he hears the sound of a galloping horse. He turns around to see a man riding a horse moving towards his direction. When the man reaches closer, the monk asks, “Where are you going?”. To which the man replies, “I don’t know, ask the horse” and rides away.
Moral of the story
The horse in the story represents your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind runs on past conditioning. It is nothing but a computer program. If you are lost in the program, the program controls you and leads you wherever it feels like.
Instead, when you become self aware, you start to become aware of your programs and start looking at them objectively. Once you become aware of the program, you start to control the program and not the other way round.