Thursday, July 11, 2019


What arose in the discussion that followed our small community group meditation yesterday evening was the subject of the multiple selves we fabricate (and that others fabricate for us) as our lives progress; and the need to be able to identify those selves for the fabrications that they are if we wish to leave them behind when they are no longer relevant or useful.

And in my morning meditation my mind settled on the seven-year-old self--the number is arbitrary, I mean just that tenacious little child--and how destructive he or she can be. I imagine that it's a rare human being who survives childhood without wounds, and every child learns to handle them in the best way possible. Most children, no matter how vulnerable, have great power and skill in navigating the vicissitudes of their lives. It's the survival instinct.

Those skills, even no longer needed--whether self-defensiveness and withdrawal, or their opposite, aggressiveness, vindictiveness and rage--often persist into our adult lives, controlling our behavior in ways that cause undue suffering to ourselves and those around us. All the more important, then, to be able to recognize those old selves as nothing more than mental constructs... and let them go.

It's a process that needs to be done with respect, and love, and gratitude, for these selves have often served us well in the time that they were needed. Any attempt to fight them off can be a losing battle. It is their nature to be tenacious and to exercise their power. When I spot my seven-year-old self at work in my life today, I try to simply thank him for his efforts to protect me and melt his resolve with loving kindness. And let him go.

No comments: