I get sucked down the social media rabbit hole too easily. Like the dog in the animated film “Up” getting distracted by a squirrel, a bright shiny meme can jerk me into the vortex like a black hole. Sometimes that which crosses my feed, in the vernacular of my younger days, “blows my mind.”
Such was the case from a post from the group, “Empaths, Old Souls & Introverts”, mostly quoted verbatim:
“…the person you think of as ‘yourself’ exists only for you, and even you don’t really know who that is. Every person you meet, have a relationship with, or make eye contact with, creates a version of ‘you’ in their heads. You’re not the same person to your mom, dad, or siblings as you are to your coworkers, neighbors, or friends. There are thousands of different versions of yourself in people’s minds. A ‘you’ exists in each version, and yet your ‘you,’ which you call ‘yourself,’ isn’t really a ‘someone’ at all.”
We are therefore the mash-up of our own perceptions mingled with those of each person who has ever met us. None of us know who we truly, completely, really are; we think we do. We’re closest to our true selves than anyone else, yet still, there are facets of us that are unknown and untested. Each of us has been embarrassed, ashamed, or inspired by actions we took; not knowing we would do so until we did.
Additionally, no matter how briefly, each person who interacts with us creates a story about who they perceive us to be, entirely based on how we look and act, flavored by how well they think they know us. They react to their opinions – not to reality – with behaviors. We, in turn, respond to their reactions, creating a transient, fluid, interwoven, back-and-forth of experiences, thoughts, circumstances, and perceptions of ourselves and others, which is as close to who is the “real you” as possible.
Moreover, the “you” of today is not the same “you” that you will be as tomorrow becomes yesterday, and each of us can certainly attest that the “you” of our past no longer exists.