As we get proficient at the practice of Observing ourselves – our thoughts, words and actions – we can begin to identify more clearly our ingrained patterns and automatic responses to situations. We can also start to distinguish the different voices that form part of our personality. This awareness brings us the potential for self-transformation, for example by giving us the opportunity to change our thinking and behaviour where these are stale and no longer bring us inspiration.
Have you ever found yourself refereeing between different judgements going on in your head about a person? One minute: “Oh, he’s such a bl**dy idiot! I don’t want anything more to do with him.” Then, a few seconds later: “No, he’s just feeling vulnerable and his lashing out is his way of responding to that. I’ll let it wash over me.” This is an example of the voices of your personality having an inner dialogue. These voices will probably react like they do as a result of your life experiences, the kind of education you’ve had, the social norms of your culture and the projections of your own needs and desires.
Amongst the voices that form part of my personality, I’ve identified the following:
Ms Pessimist: who can see the danger or risk in any situation. Sometimes, other people have found it hilarious that I’ve managed to see the quite infinitesimal risk in a given situation that simply wouldn’t have occurred to anybody else. The thing is Ms Pessimist doesn’t stop with the thought, she then assumes a behaviour pattern, which is to worry incessantly about this danger or risk occurring. (The question might arise here as to whether constant worrying increases the likelihood of the danger/risk actually materialising, in line with the concept that energy follows thought.)
Ms Super-Sensitive: who cries at the slightest thing and even if 99% of a comment was positive, she’ll get totally hung up in her thinking on the 1% of what was said that was in some way critical, and then allow the thought to go round and round like dirty linen in a washing machine in her head, generating emotions of insecurity, hurt and even anger.
With the thinking of Ms Pessimist and Ms Super-Sensitive, you can imagine that the glass seems half-empty all the time. Thank the Goddess that I have other members on my “inner team”* who help to balance these perspectives. There is, for example:
Ms Heart-Felt Compassion: who can love and forgive everybody, including herself, in even the most difficult of circumstances, where she – or another – is suffering tremendously. She has great strength due to her well established connection to her heart centre and All That Is.
As the Observer, we can distinguish the various voices of our inner team in any situation, allowing the space and time for these perspectives to be heard, and then act as the team leader and choose the thought and behaviour pattern that’s the most appropriate and, ideally, an attitude that’s inspiring.
(* The term “inner team” was devised by Friedemann Schulz von Thun.)
Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”.