In client work, it is often useful to use an explanatory model or metaphor to help a client explore their experience and make sense of it. There are many excellent models out there, from transaction analysis's idea that we each have an inner parent, adult and child, and that we get stuck in dynamics of persecuting, being a victim, and rescuing, to Jung's idea of the collective unconscious and the archetypes that we all share, be they the lover, mother, warrior or king.
What models often have in common is the way they divide up aspects of our experience and tell us that we are not uniform, we are not one consistent energy that shows up continually in all circumstances. They point to our complexity and variety, the way that any healthy, functioning person has many ways of being across different roles in our life and in response to different triggers and situations.
I notice in my therapeutic work that it is common for us to reject and push away certain aspects of our experience. We may have symptoms for example of anxiety or low mood, and we just want them to leave us alone. When they come up, we tend to be hostile and rejecting. We may hate them, or be angry with them, but most of all we just want some peace.
The irony is that what the parts of us that bring these symptoms most need is our love and understanding. The more we divide ourselves up, the harder it is to hear the messages that our unconscious is trying to convey to us. My experience tells me that symptoms are a call to action, a call to heal. To have them reveal their secrets, we need to listen, and we need to love.
If you have symptoms you want to release, psychotherapy may be a useful approach to help you to first connect with them, and the aspects of you that bring them. This may be challenging, it may even hurt, but in the medium term it will bring wholeness and healing. We will all, always, have different aspects of ourself. The question is, how can we love the folks inside?