Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Who do you want to be today?

"I'm not feeling myself today..."

"He's not the person he was..."

"...I just want my old self back again"

Who is it that we want to feel like?  Surely we know that we can never be the same person two days running.  I believe that we change every moment, whether we like it or not:  I am not the same person I was yesterday, as I am constantly informed and influenced by my experience.  With each interaction, I change, as does whoever it is that I have come into contact with.  Tomorrow, I will be somebody else. 

This outlook seems, to me, to make sense.  It also conveys hope.  We all have boundless potential to change.  We are capable of infinite growth. 

So, what is it that we mean, when we say that we want to be the people we once were?  Do we not, more accurately, crave to return to our affective state at that point in time that was, apparently, preferable, to our current mood state? 

I often encounter people wishing to be their former selves - indicating a sense of separation, between their current experience and their history.  We are organic beings, with fluid and ever changing experiences.  We do not become someone else when we happen upon an episode of depression; we are the same people, but can fall prey to a sense of injustice that we have not remained static and that the constant ebb, flow and flux has become challenging.  We are then at risk of reminiscing to the past which is now gone, and cannot be rekindled.  We are vulnerable also, to an intense fear that we will never feel better.  We lose our grip on the belief that we will survive.  That our feelings, like microcosmic meteorological patterns, change, but that we remain constant, and can bear the landscape, whatever the weather. 

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring." George Santayana (1863-1952)

Are you feeling 'under the weather'?

"Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella." 
Terri Guillemets

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

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