A very good, relevant question (and answer) for modern people

I saw this on Reddit just now.

I’m not the only one who’s seen it. It has more than 17,000 upvotes right now, and 95% of all votes were upvotes.

In other words, it’s resonating with people.


Have you ever felt you don’t know/have forgotten who you really are? That you’ve spent years just adapting to surroundings to make life easier and don’t know what’s the real you anymore? If so, how did you overcome this?

I can relate, though I do think I struggle less with this question than the average person. Maybe even a lot less, though I’m not sure why.

But I can stand 100% behind the this posted answer, because I think it’s spot on:

There’s probably no “real you” that exists across time. That’s just a thing you built up when you were younger to give yourself a stable identity and core values.

The you now is just as real as the you then. We all adapt to our surroundings and change to make our lives easier. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If you’re unhappy with your life now, you can adapt by changing. You need to believe that, and you probably know it since it seems to be something you’re afraid of. But this is the real you now, and you need to focus on the needs of that person, not some idealized phantom from the past.

Lots of truth there. I’m glad people seem to recognize that (more than 8,000 upvotes right now—the most popular answer option).

There’s something from process thinking here. Even process philosophy, emphasizing “becoming and changing” over “static being.”

As Westerners and Romantics, we get hung up on “identity.” Who and what things really are. Who we really are. It’s a worldwide obsession—so pervasive that it’s hard to imagine things being any other way.

But slowly taking off these “identity” lenses has done a lot for my mental and spiritual health. What is there constant but change itself? What exists except this present moment? We have memories and relics from the past, but we are not who we were in the past. We are someone new every passing moment—embracing that can open your mind (in my experience) to a level of spiritual understanding that you may not have known existed.

Anyways, more on this later. Being (lately) more open to this way of thinking has energized me mentally, spiritually and physically more than anything else I can remember.