All the Other Selves

I really like this quote:

“The original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us end up hardly living out of it at all. Instead we live out all the other selves, which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather”

 Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

I like the way that it makes me uncomfortably aware of my internal conflict. On one hand I feel the shame of knowing that he’s right. I peruse the catalog of all of the other selves I have lived and it’s got more pages than I can count!

On the other hand, I read it with feelings of thankfulness and even a sense of freedom. I consider the work I have done to both recognize and reattach to my original shimmering self and I am proud of how it has allowed me to discard a bunch of old coats and hats!

My thankfulness comes from the appreciation I feel for the many kind and patient people who have both insisted on and supported the reemergence of my original self. These are the people who remain in this conversation with me, unwilling to put me in the box marked “Done” and unwilling to allow me to do so either.

I continue to clean out my closet and I continue to discover old coats and hats, fewer than before but still some remain.

Packing them away for good is the work of a life.


close up of row

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