You suggest I begin my journey with no preconceived notions about myself. In your Sufi wisdom, you say that I need to find that place in my heart where the yes and no of my being merge into unity. Now I am not sure precisely what you mean, but I understand that over time we develop an image of ourselves that may not be our true identity.
The son of a great athlete struggles with expectations that he will excel like his father , even though he has talents and passions of his own. The daughter of a gifted singer has a fine voice, but will not sing because it is not her mother’s. In both cases, the child denies himself the pleasure of the sport or the joy of song. I am sure we both know hundreds of examples where people internalize a “no” where there true idenity should respond with a “yes.”
Likewise, we all say “yes” to circumstances that are not really part of our true being. We work in a job that makes us miserable; we succumb to peer pressure against our better judgment; or we treat people contrary to what our heart tells us is right. Thus I understand your suggestion that before I begin my journey I needs to learn my own true identity, the one given to me by God at birth; so that when choices arise I will know how what truly resonates with my innermost being.
During this this period of taking a deep breath I will try to release everything I think I know about myself. Perhaps as a result I will find a few gems that have been buried for a long time, and I can draw on that newfound treasure to provide me the capital for my new beginning.
As Walker Percy put it, “Why is it possible to learn more in 10 minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you’ve been stuck with yourself all your life?”