We Have Multiple "Selves" Like a Russian Doll



“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”  — Neil Gaiman

Who are you?   Are you your past?   Are you your future?  Are you your inner-child with hopes and dreams and fears?   Are you your wiser self, or higher self?  Are you who others see?   Are you who you see in the mirror?

I always liked the answer in Peaceful Warrior:

“What are you?” … “This Moment.”

It’s a reminder that we can decide who we are at any point in time and act accordingly.   We don’t need to be prisoners of our past.   And, no matter what aspirations we may have for our future, we create that future, right here, right now.

We create that future by living in the moment, and being fully engaged.


Otherwise, we miss our moments and our chance to “Be.”

That said, we’re all multi-faceted and we have multiple stories.   We have the stories of our past, and the stories of our future, and we write our story forward, each moment and each day.   We also have our themes that help our stories hang together and make our lives meaningful for us, as we wander, explore, and find our way through life.

While we have multiple stories of who we are (the past, the present, and the future), is there a common theme or common thread that connects our multiple “selves” and hangs our stories together?

Yes.  It’s who we are.  In this moment.

I was reading my copy of The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation, by Sean Meshorer, and one of the lines echoed in my head:  “each of us has several selves.”

It reminded me how important it is that we are congruent, have integrity, and authenticity with our “selves.”  In other words, be true to you.  I also remembered how one of my mentors explained what it means to have integrity:  the state of being whole and undivided.  His point was, “don’t divide yourself.”  Integrate yourself, your past, your future, and your present, with who you are, now, in this moment.

Show up as all of you.

Anyway, here are a few highlights that stood out for me while reading The Bliss Experiment

Each of Us Has Several “Selves”

Among the past, the present, and the future, which is truly who we are?   Meshorer writes:

“In a certain sense, each of us has several ‘selves.’  There is our Higher Self, which can be thought of as our soul, highest potential, or deepest essence.  We have our lowest self: that egoic, sometimes uncivilized part of ourselves that pulsates with our selfish needs and desires, forever wanting immediate pleasure or gratification, no matter the consequences.  We have our past self: who we were, what we experienced, and what we recall from our personal history.  We have our future self: who we want to become, our hopes, dreams, and goals.  And, we have our present self, the being that is right here and now in this present moment.  Which of these is truly us?  Where is bliss to be found among all these selves?”

Bliss Happens in the Now

You don’t find bliss in the past, and you don’t find bliss in the future.   Meshorer writes:

“Bliss happens only in the eternal present: the Now.  This is the one and only domicile of our True Self.  Living in the past or future blocks our inward journey to bliss.  It’s impossible to feel traumatized, victimized, wounded, preoccupied, distracted, or goal obsessed and be in bliss.   These are mutually exclusive states of consciousness.”

Only This Moment is Real

. This moment is the real deal and the one you can act on.  Meshorer writes:

“Dwelling in the past or the future entails living outside of reality.  Only this moment is real.  While we remember aspects of our past or have a vague sense of what might happen in the future, ultimately both are illusions.  Everything we experience happens only in the present.  Every memory or day-dream — and all the sensations and emotions they conjure — actually occur right now, in this moment — neither ‘back then’ nor ‘by and by.’”

If you’re looking for bliss in the all the wrong places, try looking inward and in this moment.

Create your inner bliss.

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Image by Joe Lodge.


  1. Being who you are this moment is quite different to deciding who you are.

    Our decision making is essential and fundamental – and there is more to us.

    The problem is that the observation – everything we experience happens now – gets turned into a command – you should live in the moment (remembering or anticipating are naughty. Remembering where you left your keys apparently does damage to our psychic lives>?!))

    I am truly my past (as are you). I have desires and plans for the future that come from the cores of who I am (as I’m sure you do too). And I have perceptions of what is happening around me (as will be the same for you). And all this is experienced by me as current reality when I am remembering or anticipating or noticing what is around.

    If you engage with your experience then you will live more deeply and with great satisfaction (though it may not bring ‘happiness’ immediately – it means engaging with those thoughts, feelings, memories, anticipations and aspects of our current reality that we don’t like).

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