multiplicity of selves

Single Self Assumption

We Zoomed the meeting due to flooding

Flooded creeks and unpredictable weather forced us to zoom our gathering last November.

But that did nothing to dim the depth of our conversation and the gems of wisdom uncovered.

We began the session by discussing the podcast I’d circulated before the event.

Rebecca had really enjoyed this interview which was riveting. Dr Kathy Kezelman shares her heart- wrenching story of her journey from an incredibly fractious personality to wholeness. It set the scene beautifully for our discussion.

We pondered language we use that insinuates we think about ourselves as ‘multiple’: “I wasn’t in my right mind”, “I don’t know what I was thinking that day”, “I just wasn’t myself” … to point out a few.

multiplicity of selves
The masks we use

Shadow self idea

We talked about the idea of the shadow self. For example, the conversations between the part of ourselves that enjoyed a night drinking, compared with the self who wakes up in the morning with a hangover! We are not always fully aligned with ourself.

Do we talk to ourselves?

We considered the difference between talking to yourself inside your head versus talking to yourself out loud. Everyone agreed they have internal conversations.

What did we learn?

We pondered the benefits of hiding things versus opening ourselves up to ourselves. Like telling a white lie avoids the truth with others, are there benefits from hiding things from ourselves?

We agreed that sometimes saying nothing is better than telling the truth. But questioned the validity of this strategy within ourselves?

We considered the positive and negative aspects of ourselves and how naming, identifying and attributing that ‘self’, might strengthen our ability to achieve or fail at a task.

Do we act differently in different social circumstances?

It was interesting to think about how we act differently, change our language, change what we wear in different environments. We compared the difference between talking to a 4 year old and a 90 year old.

How do I see myself
Masked young woman expressing different emotions

The teachers in the group discussed the extremity of behaviour of children in the classroom … how sometimes they seem to be ‘possessed’ by certain moods. We discussed what can influence those mood changes: food, home influences, earlier trauma.

“Maybe it’s you” by Lauren Handel Zander

Helen shared a book from her bookshelf, referring to a section on changing your mind, contending with forces within our mind. This took us to discuss how we have conversations with ourself. Lauren suggests you write down the internal conversations which empowers you to change your internal dialogue.

This is a brief summary of some of the ideas that emerged in the banter.