Who Is On Your Inner Committee?
Stuck Parts of the Inner Committee
Have you ever felt that you can’t move forward in your life even though you want to? Have you ever felt that you can’t impose your will in your own life? There are many different parts of the self that are not subconscious, but are simply stuck. You may be aware of feelings of shame, fear, or ineffectiveness, that keep you from moving forward, and yet are not exactly sure why. Let’s look at some of the messages that these parts of the self may be sending to you.
“If I or others knew this, they wouldn’t like me.” This is the voice of shame. It tells you that there is something about you that is not fit for public exposure. There is a part of you that you don’t want to expose because you feel that it would cause you to feel shame about yourself. Even talking about the parts of yourself that you feel ashamed of can generate anxiety. Shame is usually due to issues that are deeper, and may require counseling or intervention. Shame and guilt go hand in hand, and we often feel responsible and not good enough because of something that we have done or not done in our lives. Shame can occur when we have done something, or when another person has blamed us for something that we haven’t even done. This can occur when parents shame children for their behavior in a way that causes trauma. In other situations, shame can occur because of something that you have done that you are not proud of doing. Shame also occurs when we have not accomplished what we feel we should have. A frequent voice of shame is, “I should have that in my life by now. I should have done this by now. I should be more successful by now.” Do you see all of the “shoulds” that are in these statements? Shame often feels that it should or should not be doing something that it has done.
Often there are interactions between parts that confuse the issue. “If I let this part of me run the show, I will be yelling at everybody.” Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind should have been more aware of this part of herself! This is a typical voice of fear. But because there was a strong “princess” part, she thought that she was entitled to treat people badly to get what she wanted when she experienced fear.
When fear speaks, it recognizes that perhaps you have a temper and if you allowed your fears to take over, that your temper might be too strong and might overpower people. The message that comes with fear is that you have to stay away from people so that they don’t get to know who you really are. Fear causes us to stay away from situations in our life that we may truly want to move toward. The voice of fear is one of the most common and powerful voices that can get in the way of progress with loving ourselves. Is there anything about you that is so horrible that you couldn’t possibly accept it? If you knew this about somebody that you loved, would you be able to accept it and love them anyway? These are the challenges that we can present to fear in order to overcome them. When shame and fear are activated, we have to truly look at the parts of ourselves that we are fearful of exposing or are ashamed of, and love them anyway.
“This part of me never gets to work on time.” Ineffectiveness is a specific part of the self that simply seems inefficient or unmotivated. Although there are reasons why you might be inefficient or unmotivated, due to difficulties with executive functioning of the brain or an attention deficit disorder, emotional causes for ineffectiveness are extremely prevalent. Ineffectiveness usually is based in some insecurity or self-image problem. Thoughts such as, “Why should I try this, I am not going to succeed?” “I could never be as good at this as my brother!” “I don’t have enough time or resources or money to make this happen,” They all of the other reasons that “ineffective” gives for being ineffective. Statements such as, “I would lose weight if I only could,” “I would break this bad habit if only I could,” and other statements that suggest feelings of an inability to overcome personal challenges are common with ineffectiveness. Marlon Brando in the movie, On the Waterfront, typifies this type. The trauma and suppression he experienced resulted in the famous line, “I could have been a contender.”
Some deeper work may be necessary in order to treat ineffectiveness and may require therapeutic interventions. If you feel ready to address of shame, fear, and ineffectiveness and heal, and the rest of you is healthy enough for that healing, then you are in
Specific Archetypes and Universal Personality Types
An archetype is a specific model of a personality type that typifies certain behaviors. An example of an archetype that remains until today is that of George Washington who could not tell a lie and so he has become the archetype of an honest person. Archetypes have long been recognized as having a strong role in the development of personality. In some cases, it is believed that we are born with various archetypes, but in other philosophies we find that archetypes can emerge with time. Archetypes were part of Carl Jung’s philosophy about people and their personalities. Have you ever met somebody who had a strong personality type that they seem to be very embedded within? These people may be playing out or living what are called, “archetypes.” These archetypes can be the archetype of the mother, the student, the princess, the warrior, the hero and many other personality types that clearly define you or others that you know.
An understanding of archetypes is extremely valuable in understanding human behavior. For example the character Marge Gunderson from the movie, Fargo, was the ultimate likable down to earth hero, played by Frances McDormand.
Jean Shinoda-Bolen has written two books about Greek mythology entitled, “Gods in Every Man,” and “Goddesses in Every Woman.” The archetypes of the Greek goddesses and gods, are often still present in many people today, and clearly explain some of their thoughts, feelings, motivations, and behaviors. A review of the archetypes in these books may help you to understand yourself and others in very clear ways. Archetypes are often dominant members of the committee that rule in many situations over other parts of the self. Archetypes have their positive and negative qualities, and both of these must be addressed when viewing the archetypes. For example, the Greek goddess, Hestia, loves the hearth and the home, and all things related to it. She may be a very good homemaker, cook, and housekeeper, and this may be her strength. She may, however, neglect to get out of the home often enough to enrich herself, and may become too embedded in Hestia’s archetype. For this reason, Hestia can become a bit one-dimensional or even overly introverted. Understanding the various archetypes can greatly enrich your own understanding of yourself and other people. You may find that you resemble various archetypes, and you may learn valuable lessons from their stories.
There are many archetypes presented in Carolyn Myss’ book, “Sacred Contracts.” Over 80 archetypes are suggested in her book with which you may identify, and learn a bit more about yourself and your own archetype.
New Parts of the Self
Have you ever noticed a part of yourself emerging that you had not been familiar with in the past? Perhaps you feel particularly brave and motivated about a project that had been stuck or frozen in the past, or you have become more outspoken, or more at peace and at rest about your life. Did parts of you that emerge that you hadn’t noticed before? It may be that within your spiritual purpose, that each of those parts emerges in its own time and in its own way. Stuck parts can also emerge, and yet these parts were probably dormant and have now surfaced because they are ready to be handled and healed. Whenever a new part of your emerges, whether it feels painful, or extremely positive, get curious! Getting curious means that you should simply pay attention to what is coming up, observe, allow all parts of that self to come into conscious awareness, and treat it as a new friend. Get to know it.
Think of what used to happen when a new student entered a classroom. Think of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, series, when Will Smith’s character appeared in town. Didn’t everyone get curious and want to know more about the person? We can enjoy the same childhood approach to emerging parts of us. Whenever we get curious, it is possible for old hurts and traumas to emerge and become healed, or for new parts of the self to become empowered. As new parts of the self emerge, loving them, accepting them, and opening the door to them will expand your current repertoire and cause “all of you” to become more than you were before.
If the part of the self that emerges is painful and is finally speaking up, then allow it to speak just as you would listening to a beloved friend, and have its say. Notice where in the body you feel that particular message of pain, observe it and let it flow or journal it. If it is especially painful, of course you should seek professional help, and if it does not resolve or feel released, you may want to consider this option.
When a positive part of the self emerges, get to know it thoroughly. Allow it to come through and take hold in your life, and move you forward in ways that you had not thought of moving before. It is likely that these new parts of the self are part of your spiritual purpose and are meant to emerge at the time when they do.
Those who follow the principles of astrology believe that the parts of ourselves are parts that we were born with, or parts that emerge later in life. They believe that these parts are destined to be in our lives, and that they are part of our spiritual purpose. If you have ever disliked a part of yourself so much that you were unable to accept it, you may find more information in astrological philosophies to learn how positive aspects of you can heal the less popular ones.
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Contact Dr. Nancy Mramor @ firstname.lastname@example.org