Sometimes it seems to me that we have many selves. Maybe innumerable selves, I don’t know.
Buddhists talk about hungry mind and grasping mind. The self or mind that I just noticed – and that I’m a virtual stranger to – I think of as the caring mind.
I was in the middle of moaning and groaning about something – which I’m not a stranger to – when suddenly a different state of mind arose in me. It said I will take care of him (meaning me).
I observed myself feeling caring towards myself. Rather than staying in my “victim” mentality, which was moaning and groaning, I actually rose up as a voice, a mind, a self and set about seeing to my needs.
I actually took responsibility for looking after myself. And noticed it. For the very first time. It felt very different than what I’m used to.
I’m really struck by the discovery. It’s brought me to a standstill.
We can have as many selves as we have thoughts, points of view, heroes, etc. The mind seems unbounded in its reach and flexibility.
This mind – the caring mind – turns out to be so very important and yet it’s been missing, dormant, silent in me until now.
It seems to follow that I must be ever looking for someone to take care of me. That’s what moaners and groaners do, don’t they? Match up with a caregiver?
I assume the responsibility for taking care of myself. I surrender my practice of complaining. I just let that all go without needing to put anything in its place.
I now recognize this caring mind as what Eric Berne and Transactional Analysis would call the “adult ego state.” I prefer to call it my adult consciousness state, or adult state, for short.
It provides a channel through which the Higher Self can influence me.
Moving from bemoaning my situation to taking care of myself is a profound shift for me.
I see I’ve been living out of my parent and child ego states. The one is the victimizer and the other is the victim.
And all the time I’ve been bemoaning the way I feel. Fancy that.
This is the first moment I’ve been conscious of an alternative. The adult state, the caring mind is an altogether different state of being to live from. Gone are the feelings of guilt and dismay. They simply aren’t here. Without anything taking their place.
But the very emptiness I feel is a relief. I can breathe. I’m an open space.