Thursday, September 07, 2017

I stand by with awe at the emergence of a self

Rogers hypothesized that the realization of the self was a process. 

In his most popular book, which helped pioneer the humanistic psychology movement, he wrote the following. 

Accept yourself as a stream of becoming, not a finished product. A person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits. 

The goal, then, is to surrender our limited and fictitious sense of identity. To step across the borders of the self and into the unknown. 

Because even if we’re afraid that the personality police is going to put us under arrest for experimenting with a part of ourselves, the reality is, we can do whatever we want. We can be whoever we choose to be. And not everybody has to be aware of it. 

In fact, for those of us with portfolio careers and diversified identities and multiple centers of belonging, we might be different things to different people. 

Years ago, a family friend of ours died from cancer. And at her funeral, it was truly inspiring to see how many different peer groups and friend circles and professional colleagues showed up to honor her life.

She was so many things to so many different people. Debbie lived a double, triple, quadruple life, and not in the schizophrenic sense of the word. She was fully engaged in life. Diverse and multidirectional. A polycentric person with multiple centers of interest and attention. 

And in a world that constantly tries to keep us in our lane, insisting that we only become one thing in life, that’s a victory. 

We have to stop pathologizing anything that’s diverse. We are people of deep dimension. 

Here’s another way to think about it. 

Broadway musical audiences don’t know that the drummer in the orchestra pit also plays banjo in a bluegrass band on the weekends. Nor do they need to. Nor would they care if they did know. 

Yoga students don’t know that their favorite instructor also performs shows with a traveling burlesque act. Nor do they need to. Nor would they care if they did know. 

College students don’t know that their physics professor also competes in stock car races during the summer. Nor do they need to. Nor would they care if they did know. 

Agency employees don’t know that their lead programmer also sits on the board of a charity that’s trying to shut down coal fired power plants. Nor do they need to. Nor would they care if they did know. 

Why? Because we’re not supposed to be one thing. We can do whatever we want. And nobody is going to stop us. 

It’s all a matter of permission.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
Are you hammering one nail all your life, or hammering lots of nails, one way, all your life? 
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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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