The best thing you can do to create inner healing and wholeness is to accept your fragmentation. Today we’ll take a look at the parts model from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is actually useful in many fields and with so many issues.
That might sound radical. Who wants to be fragmented? Deep inner healing, however, may depend on seeing the parts of your psyche that need inner healing the most.
Most of us associate being split or divided or fragmented – not with inner healing but with mental illness. The reality is being fragmented, having various parts of your personality, is normal.
Inner fragmentation is embedded in our language.
I wasn’t being myself.
It was like a part of me took over.
On the one hand, this. On the other hand, that.
These are all common sayings, but we seem to stop short of just admitting that our basic nature is fragmented.
We have different parts of ourselves.
This is true physically. You have a head, kneecaps, a right and left hand, and so many other parts of your body.
It’s true of our brain as well. You have a prefrontal cortex, a midbrain, and a primitive brain. It’s proven that the brain is divided and that different parts of the brain are often in conflict with each other. You may be planning to start a business (prefrontal cortex) but are terrified of failing (primitive brain).
The same is true psychologically, which is important for inner healing.
We may have a part of us that’s scared or hesitant or critical of moving forward toward a goal and yet we have another part of us that’s really passionate about the goal. We don’t want to be divided on the inside, so we try to act out of the passionate part and ignore the hesitant part. It’s very likely that the ignored part is going to sabotage us at that point because it’s a legitimate part of us with real concerns.
Parts all have their own story and some need inner healing.
They all have their own perspective and they are capable of acting independently. Suddenly coming out and taking over. You may find that you’re going to give a speech and you prepare for the speech and you’re a little nervous, but you override that. You do everything you can. You get to a place where you’re feeling confident and then when you stand up in front of everyone, the terrified part of you comes out and you panic.
It’s like that part of you, regardless of everything you did, that part of you was not prepared…you were not able to access and reassure that part of you was terrified of getting up in front of people.
If we give up the idea that we’re whole and just accept that we have various parts and these parts don’t always agree with each other, we can invoke inner healing with the parts that need it.
At that point, we can begin to address the conflict. We can do an internal negotiation, which again might sound really odd to people. I’m negotiating with different parts of myself. How weird and yet it’s not so weird. What’s really weird is pretending that a part of you doesn’t exist and then being sabotaged by that part later when it comes to communicating with our parts.
We can speak to our various parts and get a response – and that seems odd…
…but what seems even odder is to have these parts talking to us and giving us feelings all day and pretending they don’t exist.
I may have a part of me that is criticizing me throughout the day. You’re no good. You’re going to fail. Who Do you think you are, and this part of me, this inner critic is giving me a hard time throughout the day and while we may think it’s weird to stop and turn to that part and say, I’m listening. What do you want?
I suggest it’s even more bizarre to pretend that part of you doesn’t exist to ignore that part of you because it has an effect on you. We can’t wish these parts of ourselves away and ultimately we can’t avoid them. They have an impact on our life and so why not consciously listen and experience these parts and work with them toward a resolution. It really works to do that.
How do you work with your inner parts?
The first step to working with your inner parts is to accept them that they exist and the second step is to separate from them enough that you can communicate with them from yourself, your core self. It’s when parts kind of take over and our two clubs and we ended up in a struggle with them that we lose all perspective, but if at first you calm down and center yourself and then talk to the part of you that you’re having a problem with, it will go much better.
I often think of it as one friend talking to another. This whole process we call inner dynamics. At the iNLP Center. We even have a training called inner dynamics. The purpose of this training is to help us understand and negotiate and heal our various inner parts. It’s profound work.
Inner dynamics brings on an entirely new understanding of how the psyche works and it’s a practical understanding. So we can go through the day pretending that we’re whole while various fragmented parts of ourselves get in the way. Or we can stop, step back and say, “I have a lot of parts of me and these parts don’t agree with me all the time and they don’t agree with each other all the time and so it can be a bit of a jumbled mess inside me, but I’ll relax.”
Take a look at these different parts and start the process of healing any divides. That seems like such a sane and grounded and common sense approach to solving a problem.
We’re missing it because we don’t want to admit that we’re not whole.