“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ― Heraclitus Hi –
Thanks for reading my blog. Let me introduce myself. I am Laura and I am a writer, a mother, and a philosopher. Wow – that feels great to finally say. For years I denied myself while embracing identities that I should have let “flow” by. Let me explain. Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher in the late 6th century. The quote above is a famous puzzle questioning how a river can be one thing, a river, and changing, moving waters, at the same time. How does this apply to you? You are one person, yet you have many changing parts. What are the constant parts and what are the parts that are changing? I have to admit I became a bit obsessed with this question for many years and I am not sure that I have ever stopped thinking about the complexity of it. I am one person, yet I am changing at the same time.
What is the part that is consistent and what are the parts that are changing?
Every day we say things like: I am someone who loves swimming. I am someone who loves movies. I am someone who loves cooking. I am not someone who likes horror films. I am not someone who likes camping. I am not someone who likes hotdogs. These are the parts that are changing. These statements are like the moving water in the river. They are parts of us, but they are not what define us. Often we confuse the parts with the sum. We believe we are the parts – the person that loves swimming, movies, and cooking. By the way, we are also not the negative parts. All claims that we are not enough: thin enough, rich enough, pretty enough, smart enough. This matters when we consider change. What parts can we change? What parts are constant? The waters are ever flowing, but the river remains a river. I mistakenly took on the identities of all my parts without understanding that there was an overreaching self – my river. We have parts and those parts change over time. However, there is a core identity that is as unchanging as a river is a river. I am a writer. I am a mother. I am a philosopher. This is my true self. I enjoy yoga, cooking, and other hobbies, but my core identity is a much shorter list. When I understood the difference between the parts of myself that flow and the parts that are constant, I understood how to design my life more effectively. What is your essence? What is your river? Are you living your truth or are you living based on your flowing river parts? Find your essence and allow the water to flow continuously through.