Is your identity fractured?
I have a very good understanding of who I am, but that understanding, it seems, is purely my own. From the perspective of those with whom I am in relationship, my identity shifts from person to person, and the shift occurs whether I am in my home, at work, or shopping in the local mall. My spouse, that person with whom I have the most intimate relationship, views me somewhat differently than I view myself, each of my children have views of me different from that of my spouse and each other, and this difference of opinion extends outwards to everyone I come into contact with. The more contacts I have, the more my personal identity fractures and is diluted. While you may wish to remain the same person in all instances, this is impossible, as you are to others according to THEIR needs.
As a mid-level manager at my place of employment, which employs hundreds of people, my identity shifts from each of those whom I supervise, those who share my job classification, and those to whom I report. My relationship with each of those contacts has a definition, that while it may be related to others, is particularly singular. No two people, at any time or in any place, see me exactly the same way, and in no way will they ever see me as I see myself. The more people you know, the more confusing this can become, and it can be easy to understand the problems human beings in this age have regarding their own identities. For many it can become overwhelming, and the psychiatric trade is doing quite well as a result.
The importance of the relationship with Self should be evident, for how is one able to answer to the particular needs of everyone with whom he comes into contact when he is unable to understand himself intimately? It is Self-identity that keeps you centered amid the chaos of your daily life, knowing the expectations of others are separate from that and will pull from that only what is important to each of them according to a particular need. Equally important, the knowledge of Self compels truth, but truth can be exposed with many different expressions so that we may respond truthfully with everone, though in a way that each may understand in particular.
Each relationship I have is different from another, even though each is rooted in the center of my being and is being expressed exclusively. In this way I am able to share with all the essense of who I really am in a way that each may truthfully understand, and it is my wish that each is sharing him/herself in the same way in their relationship with me.
Each "hello" is a call from without for the revelation of Self, an invitation to share through relationship something absolutely unique in every instance. This is the "Dance of Life" that provides meaning and growth.