THE INNER COMMITTEE: Part Three- Relationship with Yourself

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Relationships: How Does Your Committee Relate to Other Committee Members?

​We have discussed each of the different committee meetings and how they may show up. We have looked at the fact that there are far more parts of the self and individual kinds of selves than we could ever imaging, but we have gotten a good handle on why they work and how they work in our lives. Now it is time to look at how they work together. If you have ever been on a committee, you know what they’re like! The expression that a camel is a horse made by a committee often sums up the way in which they work. Some committees flow and others don’t. Let’s look at some of the reasons and ways in which committees can function together in relationships.


Sometimes parts of the self experience conflict. One part of the self wants to move in one direction and the other does not. A typical example of conflict is when you have gotten home from work and you really, really, want to exercise, but at the same time, you really, really don’t want to exercise. Who wins the conflict is based on habits, past experiences, and the strength of the parts that are at war.


In a codependent relationship, a part of the self is usually guided or led by another part, even when it is not healthy. For example, a critical parent may rule an unhealthy child part. An example of this is when a part of yourself really wants to nurture yourself and become a healthier inner child, but the unhealthy adult is too critical of you and does not allow you to do so. This may leave you feeling unfulfilled and wanting love, but not receiving it. Other examples of codependents are typical of stuck parts, frozen parts, or traumatized parts of the self that are led by either a healthy or unhealthy part of the self. Either way, the healthy or unhealthy part that is leading has a heavy burden to maintain. When you experience codependence within yourself, you may feel exhausted from the weight of bearing the codependent. For example, the healthy adult may be overly responsible, caretaking for too many aspects within the self or even out in the world, and may feel burdened by this role. Overly responsible parts of the self often guide unhealthy or traumatized parts until the weight becomes too difficult to bear. At that time, people become depressed and often seek outside assistance.


When we think of leaders, we think of healthy parts of the self. They usually are healthy unless they are aggressive or hostile leaders. In general, leaders are strong parts of the self that move you towards your goals and towards personal happiness. As long as the other parts of the self are willing to let a healthy leader move forward, everything tends to move forward powerfully.

Often parts of the self simply support other parts in getting things done. For example, the part of you that is the healthy adult may like to have a clean house, and the part of you that is spiritually drive may understand that having a clean work environment that is organized, and in which you can find things that you need, is highly productive to your spiritual and personal growth. The supportive personalities within the self are ones that work well, much like individuals in an office might work well together. At times, supportive people can support one another in codependence, however. For example, there may be a part of you that has a soft addiction due to unresolved trauma. That soft addiction may cause you to spend too much time on the computer and do things that are less constructive for your health. Another part of you may be ineffective, and may believe that even if you did try to do things correctly that you would not succeed. The ineffective part along with the addictive part, support one another in not getting things done. Literature on addiction may be useful in helping you to understand codependence in a non-supportive way, if you find this type of relationship all too familiar.

Love One Another

What happens when parts of you simply love one another? Everybody is happy, they get along, and it is one great big family with a genuine affection for one another. Certainly this is a function of ourselves that we want to nurture. Spend time every day allowing parts of you to love or fall in love with other parts. Have you ever loved anyone and found them to be annoying in certain ways and yet even love those ways about them? Have you ever teased a person that you love about some part of themselves that you view fondly, even though that part of them is not particularly easy to live with? These are aspects of love. If you can view yourself with humor, even though you may have made a mistake, especially one that is typical of you, then you are loving yourself and the parts of yourself.

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