‘Character Is Destiny’ Heraclitus, Fragments

A woman reflects on a recent period of intense distress brought on during an argument with her husband. Though the dust has started to settle, she knows that the argument raised up a sense of distress that she had not experienced in many years. It is hard to find the right words but it was as though she encountered distressing feelings that she could remember feeling in her childhood. It made her consider that something that used to have the power to scare and upset her when she was small is still there within her. And, still has a power over her.

It cannot be discounted that the argument with her husband was partly driven by these old background feelings.

As a child she could not deal with the things that scared her but she knows that she should have worked on them since then. She can see that having ignored them may have caused problems in her relationships over the years. The question is; will she address the problems now or continue to take risks and ignore them?

This is what Heraclitus (500BC) was referring to. We are destined to live lives that reflect our psychological makeup. If we don’t engage with the things that scare us, or caused us problems in the past, the likelihood is that that they will scare us again, and cause problems again in the present.