11 Apr

Me, Myself, and I

One of the curious things about our brains is how conflicting thoughts, and conflicting feelings, can coexist. Sometimes peacefully, sometimes not.

How can two perceptions of ourselves be at odds with one another
…and yet both still be true?
How can the roles we play, and want to play, conflict
…and yet our dedication to each remain?
How can we want — need — to pursue one path
…and yet simultaneously want — and need — to follow another?

How is that possible? And what are we supposed to do? Can we resolve it?

Do we need to?

Lots of questions today. Not many answers.

Just the feeling that it’ll all work out just fine.

Image: TW Collins
  • http://trendsnpatterns.wordpress.com Marquis

    My thoughts? It’s realizing that we’re not one “color”. I think a small factoid would help to explain.

    My birthday is in February. That makes my birthstone an amethyst. At a casual glance, the stone looks purple, but when you hold it up to the light, you can see all of the other colors in the spectrum in its facets.

    I’m the same way. I am one, coherent person, but when you put me in different situations, circles, and conversations, some parts of me shine out more than others.

    In an emergency situation, I am very calm and logical.

    In a business situation, I question a lot and I’m very analytical.

    In a park, I’m a big kid and very playful.

    With my friends, you never know where I’m coming from. I’m so random. Here one moment, gone the next.

    All of these things are me, but all of them don’t get exposed all the time. That’s like having the sun shine 24/7/365. Obviously, some of those subtle shifts to personality traits are contextual and society-guided, but I don’t think you’re any less “you” because all of you aren’t on display all the time.

    Indeed, it is a good thing that it isn’t. Imagine you showing your more sexy sides during a business meeting. See what I mean? ;)

    • Tamsen

      I love that metaphor, Marquis. And I’m a February baby, too, so maybe that’s why.

      Different facets I’m comfortable with, I haven’t always been, but I’ve learned that different parts need to shine at different times, and yet all are parts of me.

      But there are times when I’ve really struggled with some parts of me that are in true opposition to one another. Where their coexistence is a paradox of the best (or sometimes, worst) sort.

      How do you approach those?

  • http://www.intellectualventilation.com Wizdumb

    I believe that conflicting thoughts and conflicting feelings coexist to assist us with personal growth. We all have to go through adversity in order to learn, understand and adapt; we become who we are based on our internal conflicts and our perceptions.

    For example, I will discuss relationships in a scenario. We all have dated a person whom we thought was “The One.” We love this person and some lay down their personal convictions to accommodate this individual. We may even worship the person to a certain degree because we believe that this love will last forever.

    Here is the problem! This person is not reciprocal of the actions that we have put into the relationship. The conflicting thought and conflicting feelings are now entering our hearts and minds; we THINK that this person loves us but their actions don’t make us FEEL like they love us. CONFUSION!!!! A decision has to ultimately be made by someone to end the relationship and move on; a vast multitude of conflicting thoughts and perceptions will ensue. However, once we sift through all of the emotional turmoil, many of us make better decisions the next time because we have allowed ourselves to learn and grow. Those who refuse to engage internal conflict may end up mentally and emotionally stagnant. They will continue to be in those types of dead relationships until they learn and grow. Face It! We have to endure internal conflicts, contradictions and other emotional distress in order to formulate complex life questions and find the answers that are sufficient for US.

    We have five senses that all have different functions; each sense makes us feel a little bit different (Pleasant taste has a different effect on us than a pleasant smell does, etc…) We process information differently and at some point we grow; how we perceive the information may be determined by how the information is presented. Imagine life without internal conflicts or thoughts; how would we develop as intellectuals?

    • Tamsen

      A while back, I talked to a friend about this same topic of internal paradoxes. His response, which reminds me very much of your own, was “See what you can learn from the torture.”

      As I said once in an earlier post on choice, it’s at the forks in the road that we lose ourselves, but it’s also where we gain direction. The paradoxes, if we can let them be long enough to get a good sense of them, give us an unparalleled opportunity to find ourselves.

  • http://www.activeleap.tumblr.com Kate

    I love approaching these kinds of questions from the perspective you shared–not expecting or even needing to find answers in the moment, but knowing the value of articulating the ask itself.

    Re: your comment on unparalleled opportunities to find ourselves–I couldn’t agree more. But I’d also add that we have the opportunity to *create* ourselves in those moments, to choose which part we will nurture, tend to, and move forward honoring more than the other. Great post!