We tend to think of ourselves as a single, unitary personality, but the truth is that each of us is composed of many parts. To name a few: the child, the critic, the free spirit, the rule follower, the lover, the CEO, the cat lover, the cat hater, the sensible adult, the reckless teenager, the rebel, the conformist, and on and on. Some of these parts may even seem antithetical. Could I be both a rebel and a conformist? Sure. How about a sad child and a happy adult? Of course. Could a reckless teenager and a cautious adult live under the same roof? Absolutely. Even though some parts of the self seem to be in direct opposition to one another, as if one must exclude the other, we are complex beings who include many states of being, even those that seem to be mutually exclusive.
At the present time, because many of us are still sheltering in place, some parts of our personalities are suffering more than others. The call for social distance and sheltering is being received in diverse ways. If you have an inner bookworm, chances are having to stay home alone is like mana from heaven. If you have an inner rebel who chaffs at the voice of authority, it’s likely that you are feeling like a caged tiger.
Do you know what part of you is having the hardest time right now?
If you can identify which part of you is having the hardest time, you can begin to develop strategies for giving it what it needs.
A further consideration has to do with relationship. Sometimes a part of one person irritates a part of another person. They may even despise one another. As if, for example, my rule follower hates your rebel. In intimate relationships, this conflict between the way parts of each person work with the parts of another is often the cause of intense conflict. See if you can identify the difficult contact points in the folks you are close to. It can help you develop problem solving plans instead of fights–fights that are often fights to the death because only one can survive!