What is your Sat Nam?


I was at work listening to Spirit Voyage Radio (oh is it a wonderful way to partially sink out of a reality and into a happy place!) when the host, Ramdesh, started talking about sat nam. Sat nam is a phrase used in kundalini yoga, often in mantras, and it translates to ‘true name’. It represents the wholeness of who were are and what we are and our connection to Spirit. That essense is so vast that we can’t put it into a box so we chant sat nam to encompass the wideness of Spirit. It can also be used as a greeting, much like namaste, as in “I acknowledge your true self, your spirit”.

Anyway, Ramdesh was talking about seeing our sat nam or seeing our true self and it hit me pretty hard. I’m right smack in the middle of transformation, of growing pains, of shedding skin that no longer fits and I asked myself:

What is my sat nam? What is my true essence? My truth? Who am I at my core?

One of my transitions has been letting go of a friendship that has turned toxic and sometimes resorts to harsh words and accusations and I have to ask myself, is that true? Is how you see me how I really am? When is your truth my truth? Can you see me more clearly than I can see myself?

I think that’s something we all fear. We don’t want others to look at us too closely and see our faults. We want to control how we are perceived, and when someone sees something that we haven’t seen in ourselves it hits us in this vulnerable place. We must re-evaluate the things that we thought we knew. Sometimes that’s a good thing. It’s good to be self aware, it’s good to take a step back and ask yourself if you really know your truth.

Do you know your truth?

I’ve been pretty open about my anger issues and lately they’ve been creeping up on me with a vengeance. It’s something that I have worked so hard to overcome but it’s also something that, if I am not careful, becomes something that controls me. When I get angry I become verbally abusive, irrational, and mean. I become a person that I do not like and it’s a hard thing to accept. I understand that my actions come from a place of frustration, of needing to be heard, of being unable to articulate what I feel in a productive way. I know all of this, yet in the moment of anger or hurt I still have the tendency to lash out. Sometimes I can control it. I can use that lovely stockpile of coping tools that I’ve amassed over the years, but sometimes even that is not enough.

I am faced with seeing my true self, my sat nam, and it is not always pretty.

And that’s not a bad thing. We are not perfect human beings. We all have our issues and our burdens and our struggles and I think to acknowledge them, see them, hold them, feel them – is essential to self love. You don’t have to like it, but you’ve got to accept it as part of you – and then love yourself anyway. It’s okay to want to change, to be better, and yet still love yourself in the moment. Still be compassionate toward yourself. We are none of us perfect and we should not use our faults as a weapon against ourselves (or others) and we shouldn’t use it as an excuse not to love who we are.

Despite the shadow part of who we are – the ugly emotions, mistakes, addictions, regrets, vices, bad habits – I don’t think any of those things completely define who we are at our core. Your sat nam is made up of all of the wonderful things you are too. The way you have helped people, the beacon of light you’ve been to those around you, your big heart and kind gestures, your capacity to love, your talents, it’s endless.

This is my reminder to you (and to myself): You are more.

So don’t get bogged down with the things that you don’t like about yourself. Don’t let them define the whole of who you are. Branch out and see all of the other truths there are to be discovered about yourself.

How do you see yourself? What would you define your true self as?