Conflicting emotions

A friend sent me an email saying that she felt a longing to spend more time alone in nature. And, at the same time, she felt resistance to it.

I’m in the same boat this morning. I keep settling down at the computer to write this blog. And then I get distracted again. Part of me wants to concentrate on writing. Part of me wants to go outside and enjoy the good weather we’re having. The tension between these two feels disturbing. However, this tension is important. It makes me aware of the fact that different parts of me are at work.

This is the core of the Voice Dialogue approach. We are made up of different selves (subpersonalities) Some are dominant (primary) and some are tucked away where we are hardly aware of them. Usually it’s a dominant Self who takes decisions for us. The Pusher, for instance, who wants us to always achieve, or The Pleaser, who wants to be nice to people, or The Helper, always looking out for others.

But for each of these selves, there are opposite selves. Opposite to The Pusher, who thinks I really should get down to work and finish this, stands The Carefree Child, who wants to go play outside. I tend to suppress this self because there are so many things I want to do. But, if I allow this voice to be heard, he makes sure I don’t work too hard.

The clue is to stay aware of the fact that you are not this primary self nor the suppressed self. You are in the middle, holding both selves. If you can hold the tension, in this awareness, what you really need will emerge. And so, by playing with my different selves, I finally managed to finish my blog. Now I can go play outside!

What primary selves have you discovered? And can you perceive their opposite, suppressed, selves?

Images to accompany this blog

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