I’m not sure when the term “selfie” took hold. And I know that there is somewhat of a shameful embarrassment about them, somehow. It’s an interesting phenomenon. At their worst–they reflect our egomania. Our need to document all that we do and record it. For what…? That is a good question. And to share it. With who? Does anyone care?
Well–I am one of those people who favor the Selfie. I do. And here are a few reasons why:
1. You are how you act. How you act is who you are.
A main reason is that this type of self-documentation has deepened my understanding about the distinction between, and the integration of, the inner and outer self. The first few times that I saw video footage of myself I was truly shocked. I did not at all identify with the gentle person that I saw on the screen. It was a moment of true self-awareness.
That my thoughts do not define me. That I am perhaps nicer than I know or believe myself to be. It helped me to stop beating myself up and perhaps see me as others might. (I hope). That there was more promise for me than I knew.
That’s not to say that we all don’t “act” in life. We do. We create our persona and change it throughout life. We play many roles, too. Some are true and some can be false. But I have learned (and am learning) to cut myself a break. That I am not the monster that I can sometimes feel like–when I go to those negative places in my head and heart. That at my worst I am not worthless or broken.
These images are a great reminder to me that I am not stuck. That I am “doing it.” Just by waking up and getting on with it. That by putting on that persona that I’ve created and designed, day by day. I will thrive and continue. Because I do just have to be “me.” And that “me” is even better than I know. It’s that simple.
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2. You are what you do. Every day. Day after day. Celebrate that!
Another reason I am a fan of the Selfie is that it provides an excellent opportunity to document. As a pedestrian and bus commuter, I have a lot of opportunity for observation. I’ve widened my perspective to include myself in the context of those mundane travels. Recording an outfit. My shoes on the pavement. The sun on my shoulder. The way my face twists when I screw it up. What it looks like when I blow a gum bubble. Recording the changing lines of my face and the wrinkling of my hands.
I was here! I am here! Isn’t that wonderful!?!! Isn’t that a miracle. I want to savor every delicious moment.
It’s not selfishness. It is me.