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The Paradox of the Self.

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

What is my “self?” Who is my self?”

It is something more than myself, this:”self.”

I would like to think that my “self” is that part of me that was a little boy once

And was fascinated to find an interesting rock, or see a bird, and wonder

About the mysteries of the animals around me.

It was the part of me that explored forests and creeks

And kept a harmless snake in a jar?

Everything could live indefinitely in a jar if you put grass in the jar, you know.

But I let the snake go. He had snake things to do, I’m sure.

That self that I was then had been molded from purest brass

And has always been there, even when hidden.

The years, mistakes, failures, victories, tears, defeats,kudos, and pretensions,

Battles won and lost, loves and losses, tears. and sighs…

All covered that self with the patina of adulthood.

But even so, the frictions of life and age have polished that self anew,

Allowing it to regain its sense of wonder.

And there is the paradox of the self—

The self exists when alone, but begins to only truly live when joined to others.

The paradox of the self is that it dies when selfish,

But thrives in relation to other selves.

From the conflict that bombards the self,

Comes the polish that makes it shine.

And it is love that charges the self to shine most brightly from within

The paradox of the self is that it finds its meaning in relation to others.

And freed from the patina and grime that life deposits,

It enters old age as a brighter light.

The paradox of the self is that my best self is more than myself,

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