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Who are you?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hi neighbors. This time of year brings on a nostalgic retrospective for many people. How was the summer? Where has this year gone already? Is winter really creeping up on us so quickly?

Often, yearly cycles are seen as small representations of past wide cycles of our lives. Many people refer to the spring of their lives, the summer and fall and then winter of their lives.

But I don't think the seasons can represent entire portions of our lives.

To me life cycles intertwine like those seemingly seamless hoops that magicians can lock and unlock at will. Cycles are not so much simple hoops as looping spirals.

I read a philosophical viewpoint that indicated that our memories and reflections upon our past are simply ways of reviewing what once were our realities and that reality is only the place where our consciousness is currently directed.

If that is true, when we remember ourselves as 6 years old hurrying home after school, for a few brief seconds, that moment becomes our reality. I know that sounds pretty far out there.

But after observing people with memory problems becoming completely immersed in the reality of being 6 years old and hurrying to get home from school; I wonder if there isn't a deeper layer of meaning to that philosophy. Being 6 years old is their reality; at least for those few moments. Their minds have fixated on that moment in their past; their consciousness has adhered to that reality and for however long it remains in their concentration it becomes their reality.

When thinking of things that way, our lives are cycles and hoops of various realities. In the same way we are today who we have always been, and the persons we once were are still a part of us. Think of it like a row of crackers in a sleeve.

I am not today the same person I was at 6 years old. With my mentality I can reflect on who I was at 6 years old and see many differences between myself then and myself now. Thank goodness!

There are still core parts of my personality -- my consciousness -- that remain the same, of course. That is why I can still recognize all of my former selves as parts of my current self.

Looking back on your viewpoints, actions, beliefs, day-to-day lifestyles of any cycle of your life; can you not see how you have changed subtlety from being who you were then into who you are now?

Life isn't static, people change. Don't we all adapt to the environments we find ourselves in, the family milieu in which we are involved? Of course we do.

Most of us simply say we wear different hats. Soccer Mom, chief chef and bottle washer, student, coach, care giver, babysitter, girlfriend, wife, parent, grandparent, child, daughter, sister, friend -- we all fill various roles during our life cycles.

So, to define any time or role of our life as simply being a season we find ourselves in for several decades doesn't really work. If you can "feel like a schoolgirl" at 40; be ever so wise at 12; realize you know lots less than you figure you should at 60: how can you think any time period can define who you really are?

Having said all the above, this time of year is as good as any to look back; re-think who we are, what we want and where we should be heading.

A season is changing. Seasons change four times every year. People change on a daily basis -- but in very tiny increments.

Take time to look back and reacquaint yourself with the curious child you were; the freedom seeking teenager you used to be; the young adult eager to make your mark in the world; the first-time parent overwhelmed with awe and fatigue; the middle-aged adult looking for new adventures to satisfy the curious child, freedom seeking teen and eager young adult still within.

Until the next time friends, remember, we are never alone. All the realities we have experienced are still a part of us, and once in a while we need to take a second look at all we have been, all we now are, and all we might still become.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup