How I Had to Lose Myself to Find Out Who I Really Am
August 24, 2018
In my early twenties, I underwent a cataclysmic shift in my worldview. I began to shed systematic layers of indoctrination.
I came to recognize the subterranean stratums of my being that had been woven and forged like a convoluted web of lies.
Like a delicate house of cards, I began to deconstruct each part of my identity, each vein of my belief system, and recognize the fallacies, the contradictions, and the inconsistencies for what they were.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was being failed so miserably and resolutely by the conventional medical system that it almost cost me my life. This prompted a journey of self-reflection—of self-education—of self-discovery—unlike anything I had ever anticipated.
I began to see that people I had entrusted with the answers were just humans recapitulating what they too had been brainwashed to believe. I was enlightened as to the corruption, the malfeasance, the systematic injustice, the propaganda and the disenfranchisement.
The atrocities I stumbled across were horrific, the injustices I uncovered incomprehensible. Each nugget of truth I resurrected led down another rabbit hole of inquiry, a circuitous and cavernous route of not only finding myself but of rooting out the falsehoods I had taken as sacrosanct.
Ensconced in a bastion of privilege, I was sheltered from the truths of the world. Surrounded by small talk where the the catastrophization of minutiae was commonplace—where keeping up with the Joneses and what-will-people-think was a guiding factor—where controversy was swept under the rug and hypocrisy was made normative—I was blind to so many struggles in the world at large.
With an insatiable quest for knowledge, I began to consume information from as many disciplines as I could muster in order to differentiate my social conditioning from my moral compass—in order to salvage the Ali that resided beneath the confirmatory bias, the repression, the denial, the rationalization that society fosters.
The parts of me that were intact as a child but were now buried under layers of baggage, the lies society groomed me to regurgitate, the parts of my identity which had been saddled and foisted upon me without my consent.
The truths that I had taken as self-evident were revealed as unfounded misrepresentations, untouchable dogma, ancestral narratives that had been passed down from generation to generation.
Defense mechanisms that others had projected upon me, cognitive dissonance that formed a protective shield against inconvenient truths and an impenetrable fortress against introspection.
Some of us must spend our entire lives un-learning what we have been taught, those implicit biases that have been instilled, the deep-rooted ideologies we have been conditioned to believe hook, line, and sinker. The lies we have been spoon-fed since birth, the seductive narratives and talking points and buzz words that come to form our collective unconscious.
We must deprogram our neural networks and debunk the mythologies that have come to form the fabric of our existence, the lenses through which we see the world.We must put on our critical thinking caps and examine the derivations of our traditions, the historical origins of our rituals, the underpinnings of our convictions and investigate whether or not they hold any water.
To heal, I learned, we must navigate home to ourselves. We must firmly establish our own identities independent from the stories we have been led to regurgitate. We must heal the gaping wound that emerges when we fail to adhere to our own convictions, when we surrender up our own path and power in favor of someone else’s.
We must ascertain whether they are inherited myths or sacred truths. Whether they deepen our understanding of human nature or contribute to collective delusion.
Whether they resonate with our intuition and deepen our capacity for compassion or contribute to divisiveness and inequity. Whether they illuminate or obscure reality. Whether they abscond with our inner knowing or bring our true essence into stark relief.
It is only by forsaking the lies, by shedding the narratives, by reclaiming our power—that we can truly heal ourselves, humanity, and the planet.
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