You have different parts of you— and they experience and need different things.
One of the biggest problems we run into in life, is thinking that we are, or should be, always of one mind.
That just isn’t reality.
We have parts of us that think, feel, experience, want, and need different things than other parts.
Sometimes our parts are DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED to other parts.
For years, I’ve worked with people who struggle with Dissociative Identity Disorder, the psychiatric condition formerly (and popularly) known as “Multiple Personality Disorder.”
One of the main things I’ve learned doing this work is that EVERYBODY has “parts.”
What distinguishes people who have DID from people who don’t have DID is not that DID people have parts, and non-DID people don’t have parts.
Rather, the real difference is that the parts of people who have DID have been cut off, isolated, alienated, from all the other parts.
Their parts have trouble communicating with each other and with a person’s “core” self.
Thus the have trouble cooperating. They have trouble compromising. They have trouble working together. Very often, they’re working against each other— because they don’t realize they’re all part of a whole (and why would they, since they rarely hear from or positively interact with the other “parts” in their system?).
This may all sound convoluted to someone who doesn’t have Dissociative Identity Disorder…but I’m here to tell you that this is a process we all experience.
EVERYBODY has to learn how to get the “parts” of themselves to constructively communicate and interact.
EVERYBODY has to figure out how to talk to the different “parts” of themselves without issuing threats or becoming defensive.
EVERYBODY has to figure out how to meet the needs of their various “parts,” without sacrificing their overall values and goals.
HOW we talk to ourselves is crucial.
How OFTEN we communicate with ourselves is crucial.
How open, honest, and compassionate we are with ourselves is crucial.
We need, first and foremost, to be on our own side.
We simply will not make progress in life if we are constantly fighting a war with ourselves.
There is a part of you that wants peace and calm— and there’s a part of you that kind of likes drama.
There is a part of you that wants to be autonomous, and a part of you that wants to join with other people.
There is a part of you that wants intimacy, and there’s a part of you that fears intimacy.
The ONLY way you’re going to be able to manage your thoughts, feelings, and behavior in any kind of coherent way is if you start talking— and listening— to yourself…even the parts of you that you wish didn’t exist.
The good news is, internal communication is a learnable skill.
Listening to and honoring the various parts of yourself, without letting them take over and drive the entire bus, is a learnable skill.
Dealing with ALL of the parts of yourself with compassion and patience is a learnable skill.
We have to put the time in to learn and practice those skills…but they DO come with time.
And it is so, so worth it to NOT live in an adversarial relationship with yourself.
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