being who I think I am

by

It's all good as it is

Sometimes the changes I went through regarding my personality give me goosebumps. I see pictures, read through old journals and hear myself talking with my best friends about some bullshit I did I thought was cool, or even legit. And I can't believe how different I have been in comparison to what kind of person I am now.  Everyone of us knows this feeling. And even if the distance between you two, your former self and your current self, is so vast, you can feel a very strong connection to who you've been at the time of the horrible style-fail, of when the biggest problem where pimples and the time where you made mistakes you'll never gonna forget.

And in some profound way that's totally okay. It is even more than okay: It makes us the persons we are today and I, as for my part, am proud of myself. Being perfectly honest, I think many of us would consider ourselves as good persons and we know that others do so, too. In a human-life, you made decisions and committed mistakes you're not proud of, in situations you would handle completely different today. But the fact that growing and developing into better versions of oneself, includes learning from mistakes. This makes it impossible to avoid either failures, the transitioning through political attitudes or changing deep-rooted character- and behavior-traits. And this can be a good thing! At least I hope it's rather a good thing than a worsening..

Being aware of this kind of makes us able to accept the way which got us to where we are today, even if it's been a bumpy ride. But as beautifully holistic of a person's identity this approach to look at development of self is, I sometimes find problems in all this integrity. 

Or is it all deception?

I find them when my inner voice, or maybe better call it inner chatter, speaks in ways to me it last did fourteen years ago. It's not always things which make me wanna hug myself and respond self-compassionately, soothing my inner child or some such. Sometimes it says things which scare me. Things which misgive me about the person who I think I am or the person who I say I am. There would come thoughts in my mind which I wouldn't speak out loud, thoughts which try to lead me to decisions I would never approve to be any rational, smart or kind. But me, having these thoughts coming to my mind just scares me. Sometimes what I think is completely contrary to how I would act or to what I would say I think to others. Experiencing such a mind-twist confronts me with questions about authenticity, honesty, self-escape and well-lived deception - If I'm not the person who I think I am, do I actually deserve the things I want to achieve in life? Do I deserve the life I strive to build? 

In moments like these it becomes clear how fragmented our personalities or characters are. Observing these thoughts we are not proud of and we would not identify ourselves with, we'll notice something familiar, if we do it carefully. Familiar, because we actually know who is talking to us. We've been knowing these different voices for a while, sometimes for a lifetime and mostly, at least since childhood. They keep on popping up, stuck in the mindset they grew out of and trying to apply our former needs, desires and problems on the situation at hand, now, to our current reality. Telling us to ignore our crush's message as penalty for not having provided enough attention, batter us with old and toxic thought-patterns at the slightest trigger and letting us fall back in harmful behavior we came over years ago. 

Accepting , Unmasking and Re-directing

Seeing this, the first step is done. The first step towards stilling your fear of cheating yourself and not noticing it. As we become aware how many different parts, different versions of ourselves which constitute the character we carry in us, we can make sense of all this. Having had experiences we remember and having seen how life has gradually shaped us and this way somehow has lead us to the present moment, we can somehow grasp the connectivity between the various parts of ourselves we find united in the self. The fact that a voice in your head talks you down after having compared yourself with someone else, does not imply that you actually think that badly of yourself. There is no need for throwing away all those reasons for being proud of yourself, no need to raise doubt on you being who you think you are.

The only thing you have to get is that it is perfectly normal to keep parts of your former self which probably have been with you for a long time, or in critical time, or just frequently in short intervals. They have a way to look at things which they once thought was good for you, which might have protected you in situations in life you needed protection in order to survive emotionally. Your inner parts won't fade away - they are souvenirs you collected throughout life, they are components of what sums up to being you today. That your actual, conscious self can't identify itself with them anymore is not a problem, but a good thing - a sign for occured development and a precursor for upcoming changes for the good at the same time. Transforming them in springs of transformation can be the easiest thing, by just stopping to resist them and fucking yourself up about that they are there and instead, listening to them, accepting what they say and showing them where they go wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

Julia Held

I am a philosophy masterstudent, a writer and host of the podcast of "Transformatorenwerk Leipzig". I am interested in philosophy as practice - for creating one's life, for personal and emotional development and for a balanced and exciting life. My vision is to strengthen the person as a responsible subject which thinks and acts by itself while answering to the world it encounters.