We are not who or what we typically think we are. This self that we believe ourselves to be everyday, that goes to work, eats lunch, spends time in a hobby, chats with friends, and all else, is a false self.
It is a construction in our mind and consciousness, built up over a lifetime of experiences. But that is not who you started out as, and is not who you are if you peel all that away. We are much greater beings than we think we are, and we have an identity in God that we can actually learn to see, directly, particularly through contemplation, meditation, and prayer. This True Self is pure, full of love, beautiful, and divine. It is constant and eternal. It is what it means to be “the Christ,” the “Anointed One.” It is the great “I AM,” in you and me.
Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who lives in Albuquerque, explains this eloquently in this PDF titled “True religion leads us to an experience of our True Self and undermines my false self.”