Last night, after my purposefully predictable descent into bed, something slowly began churning in my mind. It was hard to place at first, more like a creeping feeling than a specific train of thought. Now matter how hard I tried, it wouldn't allow me to drift away. I kept tossing and turning until I surrendered.
The thought then formed. Who am I? Of course, it's a question that most sane people must ask themselves at least once or twice in their lives and I've asked many more times that most. But yesterday's dive into my past, courtesy of Jordan Peterson's Past Author part of his great Self Authoring Suite, had me very consciously aware of many parts of myself that I have long neglected to recognize.
Suddenly, my previous narratives of life no longer seemed to make any sense. I couldn't ignore some of the pieces of me that didn't fit. I needed to expand to envelop and own them all. Or did I?
There in the darkness of my room, I suddenly considered another possibility. What if, for just awhile, I disowned every preconception I had of myself. This meant disavowing any of my accomplishments, aspirations, failures, and judgments I have made about myself. It meant that I had to give up any and all labels I had ever placed on myself, such as "man", son, friend, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, and so on. I even meant that I had to let go of any set of desires that I had some allowed to define myself.
I let all of the labels drain from me and I lay there, "me" for the first time in a long time. There was no where to go, nothing to do. Nothing I HAD to do or not to do. There was simply emptiness... And I was totally, utterly uncomfortable. I hated this feeling, this nothingness. I made me remember why I was a person by choice.
Then, somehow - I found sleep. When I awoke, it took me several hours before I remembered that I wasn't somebody. But, by then, I was already too far into it to step back. At least for today, that was the case.
Since the nature of the "Self Authoring Suite" appears to be inducing such thinking, I anticipate exploring this idea further as the days go forward. But, until that time, I would like to show you a previous blog post (from several years ago) that seems to sum up where my mind sits at the moment: