Monday, November 02, 2009

Who Is The "I" in "Me"?

When I use the pronoun "I", who is the "I" that I am referring to? The person that is "me" is just one example of a human being and the older I get the more I am amazed at all the subtle and not so subtle forces that form and shape me into the "me" that is represented when I refer to myself using the pronoun "I". I began thinking about this today after reading a selection from Thomas Merton's "The Inner Experience". Over the years I have learned much about the characteristics that make up my personality. The Myers-Briggs (MBTI) taught me that I am an introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiver. The Enneagram taught me that I am a Sexual Nine with a One wing. My personality, like all personalities, certainly has its strengths and gifts. I am not blind to my own goodness. Equally true, however, is that my personality has a shadow side that is less charming to many and often annoying to me. I love order and hate chaos. In general, I think there is a right way and a wrong way to do most things. I am a perfectionist and I drive myself crazy with my obsessive need for order, perfection, and completeness. Along with this I think I am also a little obsessive/ compulsive. I am a creature of habit and routine and I don't like to change the ways I do certain things or the order in which I do them. If perfectionism and OCD are not enough, I think I also have some level of Attention Deficit Disorder. Going from Point A to Point B can be a journey of a thousand miles for me. Why? It is because I am easily distracted. I often struggle with being focused, especially when I have little interest in what I am doing. On the other hand, when I am really into what I am doing, I can be what one person called "hyper-focused". Some psychologists also call this "flow". So, who is the "me" that I am referencing when I use the pronoun "I" ? I am a collection of good and bad tendencies with strengths and weaknesses. I can be a highly functioning individual but I can also easily slip into totally dysfunctional behavior. I have a loving heart and a gentle soul but I can occasionally be a completely annoying person. The good news is that most of the time, and the older I get, the best of me is what people usually see even if I am not consciously try to display it. The best of who all of us are will usually burst forth and those around us will usually accept our imperfections as a small price to pay for what is good.

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