Were you to think of shapeshifters, what would your first association be? Would it go into something dark, sinister and disturbingly shady and dishonest, an opportunistic chameleon that becomes whatever the situation demands in order to get most gain for itself?
Some notions have gotten a bad reputation over time, gilded by emotional baggage of association. Shapeshifter is one of these, as we were thought that the bad things transmute shape in order to tempt and test us. Never the less, most things, notions and developments are not entirely negative or positive and are dependent upon interpretations. Shapeshifter is not that much different form the notion of an alter ego, the other I, the alternate self which emerges when there are tasks and situations your regular day-to-day self can’t handle or process very well. Of course it can, but we stand in our own way by the limited beliefs we’ve constructed around the mundane “I”. We put the barriers in place, imagined what it can or cannot do, what is proper and acceptable, how it should act, what is should tolerate, bare or endure, how rude, pushy, stubborn ad happy it should be. “I” is the self-imposed set of illusions not a fact, and it gets broken and molded slowly in labor intensive painful moments of change.
Your alter ego, the shapeshifter within is not that much different from you, it’s not a schizoid split into two as a dissociative identity disorder would be where one personality is unaware of the actions of others inhabiting the same body but operating under different consciousness or different fragments of the same consciousness. An alter ego is a mask you wear, a persona you adopt as an actor would a role and it allows you to break through the narrative of “I” you’ve locked yourself into. It is healthy and useful because we all switch into different roles during the day. You cannot operate within the same philosophy in all areas of life, a child that cannot grasp some things cannot be treated as an adult, your business personality might have to be ruthless due to the nature of your competitive niche but your core self might be a highly compassionate and aggregable person that doesn’t do well in conflicts, you might be an introvert who is often confronted with a situation of public speaking. The day will demand you to step into different roles and you might not feel equally comfortable in all of them. Alter ego creates a distance needed to operate, the impersonal shield where you don’t take things to heart and do what needs to be done unburdened by emotional hang-ups or doubt.
It is useful to be able to be a shapeshifter. All of these shapes are you, some of them you might just not want to acknowledge exist and would rather they be kept separated from what you consider to be the true you by a veil of “otherness”. That is all right. Use it until it serves a purpose. There will come a time when it will fully integrate as you practice the skill or personality traits that are harder to accept. The lines will blur and blend because you’re all of these things but none of them define you.