What is Self?

0804-hrh-05-01They say we are not who we think we are. Experts, psychologists, those who deal with personality stuff, say that under the many layers, we are ordinary and straightforward. We eat, drink, pee, and sleep. Who are we after that?

We are the combination of our culture, family training, experiences, and the stories we’ve told ourselves. We can change our stories. Retell your story. Decide to – just because you can. Small things matter. AJordan Peterson says, you can’t reform the world, but you can clean your room.

It is perfectly possible — indeed, it is far from uncommon — to go to bed one night, or wake up one morning, or simply walk through a door one has known all one’s life, and discover, between inhaling and exhaling, that the self one has sewn together with such effort is all dirty rags, is unusable, is gone: and out of what raw material will one build a self again? The lives of men — and, therefore, of nations — to an extent literally unimaginable, depend on how vividly this question lives in the mind. It is a question which can paralyze the mind, of course; but if the question does not live in the mind, then one is simply condemned to eternal youth, which is a synonym for corruption. – James Baldwin

The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985

Transformation and renewal can happen slowly. But not always. I’ve had it hit me like a wave flowing from the ocean, picking me up and knocking me off my feet. As the water rolled over me, I was unsure which way was up. When I finally found my footing and spit the water out of my mouth, I knew I was a survivor.

I’m not asking for a knockdown, but I’ll find a way up if it happens. Today, if you are feeling overwhelmed, control what you can. If you want a better life, change one thing. Start where you can. Your “Self” is a fiction that is made up. Layers that have been built over time. Therefore, it can be changed, scrubbed, twisted or ignored. It’s in your hands to mold.

Who do you want to be? Love is the greatest gift. Forgiveness I believe is the second.

Namaste.

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