“Being willing to look inside oneself & to be a fully present witness, takes quite a bit of courage, as well as a very good sense of humor, especially as we come upon our child-Self, who is a true dichotomy of nature.”…Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
We are all familiar with our inner conflicting voices, like two children who want to run in opposite directions. “Should I or shouldn’t I?” Will I or won’t I? I want plan A. I want plan B. I don’t want to do that. I do want to do that.”
I came to know mine very well when I was cleaning out the clutter in my home…and my life. My husband had passed four months earlier. I needed an activity that not only kept me busy, but had a goal at the end of the process.
I had set a rule that I had to “touch” every single item that I owned, the reason being that I was so unfocused that I simply didn’t see things that truly existed. Once I touched or identified something, then came the decision. Did it meet the criteria to stay? If not, did it go to trash OR to the goodwill give-away pile? You might remember that I was “brought” to the conclusion by my inner-director, that I owned too many things & so in order for something to stay, it needed to be evaluated against the rather tough-love criteria.
In the beginning, I didn’t understand why I needed to learn this lesson & believe me, I had no idea how difficult this was going to become. Enter my child-selves, each pulling me in separate directions, acting like completely out of control children. They had become even more mischievous since my husband passed, having been ignored during my months of caregiving to him.
Honesty Check ….I’m a junkie & now the discipline is being handed down. Part of me rejoices from being saved, but another part reports being anxious & even mad as hell.
DIRECTION – WITNESS THE MIND
My child-selves don’t want to play by the rules. They don’t want any rules & why should they? They have grown up fairly rule-free until now. Yes, I AM A JUNKIE!
Who thought up the idea of letting go of things, especially good things; things we like & love? Isn’t this a stupid & wasteful activity? Hey, what if I need those things again next week or even next year. So, I have to go out & buy it again? Some of these things can’t be replaced, especially all those pez containers. What about all of those things that are gifts from people we love? How will we remember them if we toss these out? What kind of person does something like this? I know just what to do…..I’ll hide things & keep them secret.
DIRECTION – KEEP WITNESSING
Did you hear the rules about the food? Who dreamed these up? So I have to plan meals now? Does that director person have any idea how busy I am? I don’t like the food on the list. I never had to eat it before, not even when I was little. When do I get to eat pizza & chocolate? I’ll pretend that I’m going to do it, but I know how to get what I want. There are plenty of excuses & I’m an easy sell. Who cares about all these diseases that I’ll never get anyway. I’ll think about it tomorrow, or maybe the day after that. I have time. Oh, I feel better now that all this is cleared up.
ABSOLVING THE CONFLICT
I have to admit, it’s embarrassing to listen to my inner workings. I share this with my patients & in my writing because everyone can connect with inner musings such as these. We’re all pretty much the same. We may be dealing with food issues, or alcohol, or drugs or compulsive shopping or nail biting or hair pulling or experiencing an emotional roller coaster that takes us towards other abuses, either to ourselves or to others, but our child-Selves speak the same language.
DIRECTION – THE MATURE SELF IS RELAXED & ASSERTIVE
OK…. & so, now what?
DIRECTION – ENGAGE & BE THAT
Oh….goodness, I’m a bit anxious about this. I’m not used to being assertive with my own inner child-Selves. They usually over-power me & so it’s just easier to let them have their way, but now I can see that if I don’t stop them, they are going to make me terribly ill. I’ve never seen it so clearly before & so, I’ll gather myself together & step up to the plate.
I relax deeply & enter the theater of my mind. I like it here because I have a director-producer chair. When I sit in it & use my bull-horn, I feel like I’m in control. I sit down & observe the activity on the stage. This is not what I want here. Many things need to be changed including the set, the script & even the players. My mind is working well now. I’m directing one thing after the other.
There is full respect from the “players.” I’m rewriting the script & exiting negative mind-states that have gotten me in trouble in the past. I’ll not write any excuse-making into the script. There, that was easy.
I’ve been arguing or running away for so long, that I forgot that I could choose just not do those things. I observe as I practice letting go of things & decide to have fun doing it. Yes, that will make a nice change. Wonder why I never thought of that? Guess there was too much noise or I was simply not taking charge. As I observe the mischief of the child-Selves, I’m aware of how creative they are & decide to send them off to a creative area I just formulated. Yes, there are many details that need my attention, but the idea no longer over-whelms, but instead, it brings freedom & exhilaration.