I used to think that I was my thoughts. I thought that my thoughts and my consciousness were the same thing. It turns out, they're not.
Even after years on the spiritual path, I've found it very difficult to separate out my thoughts from consciousness. It is only recently that I have begun to discern the Awareness behind my thoughts. I am conscious of my thoughts but they are not Me. That Awareness, that consciousness is Me.
I still exist, even on those rare occasions when I'm not thinking. The Awareness is Me, not the thoughts.
This comes as an enormous relief because I have spent so long trying to have the 'right' thoughts. I've attempted to cultivate the thoughts that make a 'good person' and banish the thoughts that didn't enhance my idea of what a 'spiritual person' thinks.
It's a weight off my mind, quite literally, to discover that it really doesn't matter what I think because I'm more than my thoughts. I can let the thoughts come and go, I don't have to like some and dislike others, I don't have to disown some thoughts and encourage other thoughts. I can simply let them ebb and flow, like the tide. They are not Me and I'm not judged by them.
I am the awareness underneath those thoughts. I'm pure beingness. The thoughts are the voices of my ego, trying to entice me back into drama, fear, guilt... The awareness is peaceful. It is devoid of drama, ven as my thoughts create one soap opera after another out of my life.
Now those soap operas are no longer my identity. I can watch those thoughts play out and I don't have to embrace or reject them. I can just watch them as they ebb and flow.
I still get caught up in them, but they are no longer 'me'. I know that I can become aware of them and then I slide below them into pure beingness. That is where I find peace now.