How often have you heard yourself saying, ‘A part of me wants to … move jobs, end a relationship, have children, go on holiday, etc.’, but another part of me is just too scared, busy, broken or confused?
Maybe sometimes you feel pulled in several different directions, unable to make a choice as to what to do in life, as each tentative decision to move one way feels as though you are betraying another more powerful part of you. This is commonly how we experience the inner parts of our personality in conflict with each other.
In a typical experience of procrastination, for example, where conflicting ideas, thoughts and feelings exist, we can either talk things through with someone else or we can make a practical pros and cons list to help us clarify what we are thinking. But what if we looked to create an inner dialogue between the conflicting personality parts of us, in order to find out how they are operating with each other and to find which parts have perhaps become more inflated or have too loud a ‘voice’, and which ones possibly need to be heard more than they currently are.
All of our internal voices should hold an equal place within our mind and have an equal say; all parts have a positive intention behind their words or actions. In gaining understanding about the part that would rather stay overweight, or keep drinking or being shy, or getting angry, for example, we can find out the positive intentions that part has and work through or meet its needs in a more productive, healthy way. However, through parental or societal messages from the past we are told that some thoughts and emotions are good and some are bad, and it is this that creates so much angst within us.
First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak ~ Epictetus
So, I want you to imagine now that you are sitting at the head of a table, it is a meeting room table in a large plush meeting room. As you sit at the table, you look around and notice that there are five other chairs, two on either side of the table and one at the opposite end, and you notice that in some of those chairs are the different parts of you that have been conflicting with each other.
We now want to explore each part, looking to make each part as present and real as possible in your mind. It is important to remember that we are aiming to give each part a voice, as each needs to be heard to create a sense of unity.
So, now I want you to look over and, remembering that the objective of this meeting is to enhance the communication between all of these different parts of you, you are going to ask each part, the following question …
- How can you help to increase the effectiveness of all of my parts as a whole?
And as you ask that question you just listen to what you hear back from each part, as each one takes a turn at speaking out. No other part is allowed to interrupt. They must each take a turn and remain silent as each of the other parts has their say.
As you take time to listen to each part of you communicate what it needs, when they have finished you can bring the meeting to an end, just reminding all of those parts that they have been doing a great job … and now that they are beginning to communicate even more effectively, whenever any part of you needs to have a voice, or there is a conflict happening, then they will be able to come to the meeting room and share their concerns to help you feel more sure, aware and in touch with yourself.
Decide today to make this exercise part of a new habit of listening to what’s happening inside you and manage your inner conflicts, so you can be more confident and able to deal with whatever life throws at you.
As always, keep mastering!