Who am I? What am I? Am I my personality? Am I the successes in my life? Am I the failures? Am I some combination of all of that? I’m starting to realize that all of those questions are secondary to the primary question of simply being. And that speaks to the separation between ego and “beingness.” Herpes has been just one tool in my life for helping me recognize this on a deeper level.

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I had lunch with a dear family friend just the other day and we were talking about how lately I have been trying to figure out my relationship to my own personality and how that ties into my true self. Personality (and hence ego) is a needed tool for interacting with the world around me. And I was talking about how I have been trying avoid ego involvement in my life. Call me Buddhist, but I’ve been going through a lot of different learning modalities and this is one of them that’s been really jumping out at me. But in this process of being oversensitive to ego’s involvement in my life, I’ve essentially shamed my ego’s existence as a bad thing. But very quickly my friend pointed out the purpose of ego is just like the purpose of the body … to be a tool to use in this world, but not something that uses me. Then it hit me. There is no need to try to dissolve ego; there is only need to distance myself from its immediate effects. I am not my ego. I am me watching my ego. I am me watching my personality. If you have ever read “The Power of Now” you can see the parallels here.

This is an important distinction to my growth around this herpes thing as well. As far as sexuality is concerned, I am not my herpes. Herpes doesn’t define me justĀ  as my personality doesn’t define me. Letting herpes affect my perception of my true being is just like letting the ego show me who I truly am underneath it all. They are meant to be separate. Just like herpes and sexuality are separate. My true being is devoid of judgments and labels. So is my sexuality. My sexuality is simply the expression of my true being through sex. Sure, sometimes mind-fluff tends to slip in the way of me having 100% connected sex (insecurity, shame, etc.) just like things tend to slip in the way of me being 100% authentic me out in the world. But the key here has been my recognition of this and being able to see it as its happening instead of letting it run me.

So the more general awareness I can have around what I am feeling at any particular moment, the more distance I can put between my beliefs and my being. They are meant to be separate. Just like having herpes should be very separate from the beauty of raw sexuality. Sex is still a beautiful, playful space. Enjoy it for what it truly is, not the labels that we might force onto it.