Meditation has long been seen as a way to reduce stress and achieve a more peaceful state of mind. These benefits alone would be enough to make meditation a worthwhile practice. But mindfulness meditation adds to these benefits by developing deeper understanding and insight into your self as well.
If we are honest we will acknowledge that most of our upbringing was aimed at creating a successful self-image. Most of us were trained to deny or control our inner experience as best we could in order to present a nice picture to the world that always shows us in the best light. This false self image is referred to as the ego by the meditative traditions. The basic insight is that this ego self must be outgrown and stop being the central source of your identity. For many of us the existential anxiety and hollowness that results from this fake act and ego charade is part of our daily experience. One of the most profound benefits of mindfulness meditation is that it brings this sense of existential discomfort to an end. We finally have a feeling of being exactly who we are - without a sense of needing to be anyone else.
Unfortunately given the inevitable limitations of our parents and peers growing up, we have all received messages that certain aspects of ourselves are not OK. And it can be very helpful to your mindfulness practice to consider what specific aspects of your inner experience are off limits to you. Perhaps certain emotions were forbidden, like anger or sadness. Perhaps it wasn't OK to get too excited about things. Perhaps important losses were not properly acknowledged. Or perhaps your dreams and passions were dismissed as silly or impossible. In many ways, mindfulness is the practice of re-awakening our inner awareness to the bits and pieces of ourselves that we have somehow lost along the way. Mindfulness is ultimately the practice of reclaiming our right to be as we are.
Mindfulness requires that we become familiar with the interior landscape of our experience. After years of ignoring ourselves it might be difficult to decipher the messages we are receiving in our inner experience. However learning to tune in to these messages is a skill that can be learned like any other. If you stick with your mindfulness practice it won't be long before your increased sensitivity and awareness of the moment reveals many aspects of yourself that you were not aware existed. As the scope of your awareness expands, more of your true self comes into view. This increased self-awareness and self-understanding has the potential to greatly improve the quality of your life.
Ultimately mindfulness practice connects you with your essential self which is sometimes called your awakened heart or wise mind. The essential part of you is the source of your deepest authentic motivations and values. It is the still small voice of your soul and it takes a clear and quiet mind to hear it's whisper.