In therapeutic work, therapists have the privilege of working with people over a period of time, and potentially of coming to know their many faces. A theme I return to in my blogs is the reality that we are not one homogenous being, we are a community of selves that interact internally, each bringing different talents and characteristics forwards, and resulting in the rich tapestry that is our character, reflected in our many and varied ways of being in the world.
It is this community of selves that explains our apparent inconsistencies. You the child is different to you the professional, you the parent is not the same as you the friend. You the lover probably has some different characteristics to you the shopper or you the friend. In our differing life roles, different aspects of self show up, triggered by the context and by events.
Often, the movement between different parts or aspects of self is seamless and natural. We flow back and forth, and more unites than divides. Sometimes though, we can move from one part to another with a bit of a clunk, or we may withhold parts of ourselves from certain situations. This may be deliberate, or it may be outside our awareness.
We are whole, and our natural path is to work towards integration and experiencing ourselves at our multi-faceted best. Sometimes we can get a bit stuck though, with one part running the show inappropriately, or with being hi-jacked by our reactions and not understanding why.
Sometimes we may choose to edit ourselves, to keep aspects hidden, and these can be both our vulnerabilities, or our talents and strengths. If this happens, its useful to reflect on what is arising in us? How and why does it not feel safe or appropriate for parts of us to show up? What patterns are present or being replayed? Are we at choice, or are we getting stuck?
If you’d like to explore the way you edit yourself and the impact this has on your relationships, then get in touch.