You probably were. You acted out of character and you wonder where it came from?
We are many selves and to look on our lives in this way can be both a helpful and healthy thing.
There are those people who appear to cope with all life throws at them, maintaining direction and purpose, but it is likely they’ve established a harmony between their different selves.
When I think about my life in this way, I realise the Me-Now hasn’t replaced any Me from other times. They’re all still there. I am the boy from outside the edge of town trying to find friends at school, or being picked on for I don’t know what reason, or the young man making mistakes because I thought there was one way to understand and do things.
I also know I can listen to a news story and be angry, disinterested, compassionate, concerned, almost all at once.
John O’Donahue helpfully writes:
‘The negative does not lie. It will tell you clearly where
you court absence rather than inhabit presence. On
entering your solitude one of the first presences to
announce itself is the negative.’
What we think of as negative my be a shallow way of describing the contradictions we find in our lives, between our different selves. When we embrace these, rather than leaving them in their isolation (turning our internal enemies into friends), we can find the harmony we desire for our lives – a healing of our negatives. W can then begin to reflect this out towards others.
The saddest thing is when someone is unable to do this, instead experiencing a disengaged life, or worse still, a destructive life.
Erich Fromm appears to be writing similarly when he describes being fully awake – not simply to our basic needs, or even the things we are passionate about, but to everything and everyone:
‘One sees, not opaquely but clearly, the surface
together with its roots.’
And again, this links in with Otto Scharmer‘s thinking on being present to our world, to one another, and to our future Self (which are seeing means a harmony of all our selves).