In periods, and especially so over the last year or so, my experience of myself shift... Partly, it because space & awareness goes into the foreground, partly because the soul (alive presence) goes into the foreground, and partly because this human self is shifting and reorganizing.
Sometimes, there is also a discrepancy of the experience of myself and how this human self presents itself in the world. I see old patterns acted upon (often in quite innocent ways) and then surprise comes up. Wow - I haven't seen that one for a while, and it is certainly not how I experience myself...!
These are typically patterns formed early on in life, coming from more contraction than what seems necessary now. Coming up, there is an opportunity to see them, and holding them in awareness while feeling into it (the witness/feeling into combination that gives an engaged teflon mind.)
When I taught a Breema class last night, this came up quite strongly: seeing the personality behaving in ways other parts of it is not so happy with, with less fluidity, warmth and engaged presence than it would like (I have been physically off for a few days, and it invites some of the older patterns of awkwardness to come up.) It is quite clear that there is no doer in this. It just happens. Materializes out of thin air. Sometimes to the embarrassment of the personality itself. And that too just happens.
Since it was a Breema class, the Spirit (awake emptiness and form) and soul (alive full presence) were in the foreground, which allowed more space around it. The personality happens as ripples of the surface of the vastness of Spirit and soul. And this makes for more of an amusing show than anything else.
What my personality takes as a tragedy, the presence of Spirit and soul reveals as comedy. When the personality is in the foreground, and the Spirit/soul levels are distant, it takes itself very seriously. When Spirit and/or soul is in the foreground, the habitual patterns of the personality not only softens but is also taken, in a friendly way, as comedy.
This seems to happen whether Spirit or soul, or both, are in the foreground. But it happens in slightly different ways.
Spirit allows for a cool detachment. It is impersonal. The personality arises as no other than the awake emptiness itself, so cannot be taken as very solid, substantial or absolutely real.
Soul is an alive presence, and - depending on which aspects of it surfaces - gives a sense of fullness, warmth, nurturing, being held, soft bliss, intimacy. And this warmth and fullness offsets any hardness and habitual patterns of the personality. The patterns of the personality softens, including the way it judges itself. The edges are rounded. It soften, relaxes, releases. And this not only makes it more comfortable right here now, but also allows these patterns to reorganize over time.