You are not your body or your mind ...
From the ancient spiritual teachers like Jesus and Buddha and Lao Tsu to the modern day teachers like Eckhardt Tolle and the Dalai Lama, there is one message they have all tried to get across to mankind - you are not your body or your mind.
But what does that mean? It means that you must not confuse your real identity with a temporary physical state. When you incarnated into this lifetime, you were pure spirit, the essential 'you'. You chose this life with all the lessons you wanted to experience and the other souls you wanted to meet. But your incorporeal spirit needed a 'vehicle' to get around in on the physical Earth so you 'grew' one. And you also needed an ego to go with the body, because the ego is all about 'I', 'me', 'my' and 'mine' and it helps keep us 'alive' in our new physical body.. Otherwise, our essential spirit would likely just exist without taking care of the body and it would die from lack of food and water and shelter. So we need the ego so that we can move about and learn material lessons on this physical planet in order to evolve. But the ego has kinda taken over the 'company' where it really just meant to be a servant. It lives in our mind and has come to influence everything we do and think.
BUT YOU ARE NOT YOUR EGO!
So get this - you are not your body, mind or ego. So what are you then? You are spirit, all-powerful, immortal, glorious and happily contented. But we all tend to forget this and lose touch with our inner truth. We become our experiences, our emotions, our needs and desires, our pain, our handicaps and illnesses. But inside us, our essential spirit exists in perfect harmony, self-assurance, balance and purity, simply observing what the body experiences and learning from it all.
Never forget who you really are - it is the secret of thriving here on Earth. Try this exercise -
Look at your hands or close your eyes and imagine your hands if it is easier. Imagine all the skin and bones and muscles, veins, etc melting away. There is only your spirit, a glowing hand-shaped energy, left. Feel it, don't think about it. You will know you are connecting with your own life force when you feel a tingling or jolt. Stay with it and explore its beauty, its eternalness, its great power. Do the same with your feet. Then realise your your whole being is this incredibly energetic life force - this is the real you. You are the observer inside the machine. You are pure joyful loving energy, one with God, and you don't experience pain or anger or any sort of negativity. You are at peace, needing and wanting nothing. You are the stars and the energy of the universe. You are beautiful.
Return to this inner you whenever life seems hard. Observe without judgement or fear the experiences of this vehicle/body that carries you around, that is your (temporary) anchor to the earth. .Appreciate it by looking after it, feeding it and clothing it, and ensuring it is running smoothly. But do not over-emphasize it through egotistical vanity/insecurity. Recognize when the ego is talking to you (the ego always demands 'more', your essential self has everything it needs) - you are not the voice inside your head. That is ego. Who are you then? You are the one who understands that you are not the voice in your head. You are awareness. You are the spirit that energizes the vehicle/body. The body and the ego are not in control of you, are not you, though sometimes we forget that. You are the master, they are the servants.
Eckhart Tolle says " Identification with your mind is the greatest obstacle to experiencing reality. It causes thought to become compulsive. Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from being. It also creates a false mind-made self that casts a shadow of fear and suffering. The philosopher Descartes believed that he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement: "I think, therefore I am." He had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error: to equate thinking with Being and identity with thinking. The compulsive thinker, which means almost everyone, lives in a state of apparent separateness, in an insanely complex world of continuous problems and conflict, a world that reflects the ever-increasing fragmentation of the mind. Enlightenment is a state of wholeness, of being "at one" and therefore at peace. At one with life in its manifested aspect, the world, as well as with your deepest self and life unmanifested - at one with Being. Enlightenment is not only the end of suffering and of continuous conflict within and without, but also the end of the dreadful enslavement to incessant thinking. What an incredible liberation this is! Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate "other." You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is. By "forget," I mean that you can no longer feel this oneness as self-evident reality. You may believe it to be true, but you no longer know it to be true. A belief may be comforting. Only through your own experience, however, does it become liberating. Thinking has become a disease. Disease happens when things get out of balance. For example, there is nothing wrong with cells dividing and multiplying in the body, but when this process continues in disregard of the total organism, cells proliferate and we have disease. The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that we use our mind wrongly - we usually don't use it at all. It uses us. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over."
It is the vehicle you reside in that experiences the world, it is the ego that feels hurt, gets mad or disappointed, gets abused or abuses, gets sick, becomes old, dies. Life is nothing personal, yet we often take it as such. Or rather our ego does. It needs feeding and it is a hungry monster; always whispering to us that we need more, we have to do better than other people, we need to be richer, thinner/more gorgeous, smarter, more lovable, more famous, etc etc etc than anybody else. (Even some spiritual leaders who have recognised that they are not controlled by their mind or body become so smug and self-satisfied that they start to think they are better than everyone else, thus missing the whole point.) But as much as we feed it, the ego is never satisfied. It never can be because worldly things do not feed our spirit, so it is a fruitless task, serving the ego.
So let's stop it! Return inside yourself to the spirit that asks for/wants nothing and is perfectly content and happy. Be THAT person and you will be able to observe without emotion or stress what is happening to the physical body. But it won't touch the real you. People may be rude and insulting, people may cheat you or abuse you (of course, you must physically defend yourself in a violent situation) or your body may break down or experience poverty or a handicap. But it's just the outer 'vehicle' that it is happening to - you don't take it personally when your car breaks down or you get a flat tyre, do you? You are not the person this is happening to, you are only an observer to it. Also, because you can observe at a distance what is happening, you will be able to see clearly what the solution or answer is to the problem. Your ego's emotions won't blind you to the right action. You are, at your centre, your gut feelings, your intuitive instincts. And from this inner perspective, it will become obvious what you have to do.
And here's the kicker - once you are not attached to any outcome or desire, the world will suddenly start reflecting your inner peace and positivity, and your life will flow with all the abundance and love and happiness that the universe has been wanting to give you but that your ego was blocking by being needy and greedy - all without you even asking for it!!!!!
So it's time for a divorce from your ego, from your body. It's time to return to the real you. Simply becoming aware of the "I, me , my, mine' negative mind-set con your ego is spinning will begin to weaken its grip. You will start to control it, instead of the other way round. Look after your physical body but don't obsess over it. It is the ego that causes illness, accidents and handicaps so, once you are the master of it, your body will respond positively. As you become aware of who you really are, existing in that perfect state of being will help you see that there is not much that matters in this temporary physical world - not possessions (even those of great sentimental value are not the people or experiences they remind us of), or power or fame or money or status or looks or being popular and loved. The only thing that matters is that you are love, you are eternal and you already have everything you need to be happy.
Understand this and you will know true enlightenment.