Thursday, August 20, 2015

Who are you and what have you done with my husband (or wife)?

Who are you and what have you done with my husband (or wife)?

Sometimes the one who shows up is a heroic God-like figure, other times a surprisingly mean and pouty little kid.  Sometimes brilliantly intelligent, other times dull.  Sometimes strong and perseverant, other times lazy and hopeless.  Sometimes loving, sometimes hating.

Sometimes self-at-best, sometimes, not so much.

Psychologists have different ways to describe our facile natures — being caught in a complex, defensive structure, inner child, parental introject, internal roles, superego/ Id, self-at-best/ self-at-worst, etc.  No matter how you look at it there are many different characters on your bus, and you may act very differently depending on who is driving.

On some level we all understand that this differentiation into subjectivities is part of the nature of being human.  

But also, there is something in each of us that expects our self(s) to be unified, believes that ourself, and others, should act in a consistent stable manner.  It is as though there are several characters on the bus that sit in the driver’s seat and they share one thing in common, whoever is driving assumes they have always been the one driving.

As a psychologist in private practice, I see every day how confusion about sub-personalities causes problems.  For example, when a person sets an intention, or makes a promise, it is often one person on the bus (sub-personality) who is set in the stated direction.  If that personality part is not aware of what all parts are standing for, or that there may be other parts who are not willing to go along with the desired direction, confusion and betrayal can result. 

In order to live a satisfying life or have a good relationship with another, it is imperative that we come to understand our internal drivers.  We can help negotiate a direction with all of our parts going in the same direction if we understand the heart-felt desire of everyone on the bus.  Or at least can deal directly with aspects of our self that are working against the current goals of the whole.

When we feel good and strong and satisfied in our life, it is a sign that most all of our selves are lined up and motivated in the same direction.  The teenage boy does not have his head out the window of the bus whistling at girls when the husband is working for emotional connection to his wife, for example.

As we turn our attention inward to become acquainted with our internal structures, we become more psychologically aware and have more control over our lives.  We accept the truth of who we are and act in ways that support our self-at-best intentions.  

But for some of us, this kind of inquiry has perhaps an even more important purpose.  It inspires personal development in a manner that moves us toward spiritual development.  We come to recognize the face of an inner wise one or friend that can help step us through the confusing questions of what it means to be alive.

Of course “spiritual development” means different things to different people.  For me it means developing a way of seeing, based on mindfulness, that connects me to a larger vision of who I am — beyond my ego ideals.

We may begin by coming to grips with how we have an inner child character that can be triggered into fear or shame and who will steer us into protective strategies that do not necessarily support our overall goals.  (E.G., withdrawing or getting angry when I really need connection with a loved one.)  But eventually we see how everyone we sense ourselves to be is part of a great play that is not so personal.  We are all just trying to function and integrate the best we can.  Sometimes more consciously, sometimes not as much.

The faces on our bus, are the faces of our heritage.  In the heart and soul of these faces are the archetypal lines of life’s agenda for loving and creating consciousness together. 

When the faces that are on your bus know that you are fully on their side, they can collaborate, and thus allow your intention to align with the embodied expression of your destiny — an experience of harmony with the environment, wholeness. balance.  Everyone on the bus is excited to be going where ever it is that we are going and it seems we are going in just the right direction.


At August 21, 2015 at 9:11 AM , Blogger After The Honeymoon said...

Appreciating the appreciation. I will try to post a little more often.


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