Why is it so hard to love and appreciate yourself? The struggle is brought about by dogma, by what you have been taught to believe, by what others have been taught to believe, by limiting beliefs of what life is all about, when in actuality you are beautiful spirit energy, completely at ease in your body and your life, though you are rarely aware of this. Instill new ideas, perceive yourself anew, as the wholly loving spirit energy that you truly are. This is your true identity. This energetic part of you is so much more than just your physical self, capable of unbelievable things. Get to know this energetic self, nurture it, love it, and resolve the old painful, disregarding thoughts that say you are not enough, that you are bad, that you are a disappointment. You are more than enough! Connect with who you really are and you will naturally learn to love yourself. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. You know who you are. You are beautiful just as you are, as spirit energy living in a body temple. Own it. Nurture it. Value it. Adorn it with beauty. Treat yourself kindly, with loving compassion, and allow your spirit energy to lead you forward now, on a beautiful new journey of love and gratitude, within and without.
Hold onto your dreams, even as you occasionally slip back into your nightmares, even as you sometimes forget who you truly are, a spirit being in human form. As you struggle forward into new life, keep the light of your spirit in sight, the light of knowing, the light of love, the light of longing that draws you forth. Hold steady on the light as you make your way along the path of life, through the ups and downs, the twists and turns, the backtracking and sidetracking. The light is always there, leading the way. And who bears the light? You, of course! Your spirit self is guiding you and knows every step you must take. Without self-condemnation make your way, knowing that you will succeed, you will achieve, you will arrive. You will fulfill, for that is your destination, the fulfillment of your own beautiful wholeness, within and without.
Embrace your physical self and love yourself for all your human frailties, your stupidities, your fears, and especially your lack of trust in a higher purpose and higher guidance. You are perfect as a human physical being, doing all the things humans do, and yet all of those human physical things are just the beginning of who you are, for you are so much more than that. Explore your greater self, your eternal self, your spirit self, even as you let your physical self teach you what you are done with, what you can let go of, and what you still need for a while longer. As you begin to understand your two selves more fully turn to your spirit self more often and ask for guidance. Learn to trust it by trying it on, by asking for proof, for help, for something special, and seeing what happens. The physical body is just the beginning of who you are. There really is so much more!
Get grounded. Accept that you are a human being who makes mistakes and is not perfect. And yet accept also your nonhuman self that is perfect, that does not make mistakes, and yet whom you must learn to know. Get grounded in your human life and yet also get together with your spirit self in a mostly non-grounded way. Explore your other half and find out who you really are and why you are really there. There is a very special, very personal reason. Seek to discover it, work with it, and grow beyond it. Enjoy the company of your other half and find out what’s really going on!
For the past few weeks I have been drawn to the topic of sub-personalities. Jung called them complexes; independent amalgams of ideas, experiences, and feeling tones that operate autonomously within the personality, each with their own motive, voice, and point of view.
These sub-personalities may be actual younger versions of ourselves, underdeveloped parts of ourselves, or frozen parts that were split off during traumatic experiences. As well, these inner voices might be from the transpersonal realm of our psyche: past life, archetypal or mythical entities that have become active beneath consciousness, influencing daily life.
Out of these many sub-personalities emerges one dominant personality that establishes a consistent identity, what we commonly call I, what Freud called the Ego Self.
The ego self is the leader that takes charge of consciousness and decides how we will navigate life. The ego is home base and must be finely tuned and safeguarded to take on the awesome challenge of reconciling all the inner needs and concerns of the sub-personalities, as well as establishing a stable foothold in the outside world.
The ego must also interact with the spirit self or higher self. Ruth White, in Using Your Chakras, writes: “The concept of the higher self…may lead us to suppose that the higher self is in charge and is the integrating force which we seek. Yet the being which we are on earth, the personality from which we function, fully exists in its own right. If we are too anxious to let the higher self take over, we may give insufficient importance to ego development. The tool which the higher self would use is then insufficiently formed and could be subject to delusions of grandeur, inability to make choices, slavishness to authority, a sense of non-being, or psychosis.“
Thus, though the ego self must not overstep its bounds, by usurping the identity of the higher self, it is fully charged to establish firm boundaries and decisively mediate actions to be taken in this world. To inhabit this state I often suggest that people draw circles with firm boundaries, representing a firm ego self. Inside the circle exists a state of calmness within which the intent to be objective is set. The ego self must make decisions, and to do this well it must be freed of negative judgments that cloud objective processing. The ego must deal only with facts to process the points of view and nuggets of truth held by the cluster of sub-personalities that reside in the greater self.
The ego must be able to hold its own; that is, avoid contamination or states of possession when it encounters the moods, beliefs, images and sensations of sub-personalities that strongly seek to influence the decisions that the ego must make as it navigates life. The goal is wholeness of personality, all parts cohesively integrated. This is a lifetime opus, the grand work of individuation.
Jan shared her dream of the square in her blog this week—her place of power, calm meditation and retreat—where she could be completely calm and safe from the storms of interfering energy within or outside of the self. Like my circle-drawing suggestion, her square serves a similar function, introducing mandalas as safe havens for ego consciousness to get calm, be objective, and process and decide how to reconcile its inevitable encounters with sub-personalities.
After a brief discussion of the circle and the square, Jan and I decided to jointly throw the I Ching, alternating the throwing of the coins. We received the hexagram of Breakthrough/Resoluteness, #43. This hexagram depicts the inevitable encounters we must have with swollen energies that gather in intensity and seek release, the energetics of encounters with sub-personalities. The ego is warned, “Even a single passion still lurking in the heart has the power to obscure reason.” Calm objectivity must be the ruling dominant power in the fortress.
The I Ching further states: “…resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness.” Thus, when we encounter sub-personalities, we are warned to stay strong, to not be bullied but to establish that we come in peace, seeking truth and reconciliation.
“…the struggle must not be carried on directly by force,” says the I Ching. Thus, if we engage in battle—which is negativity and judgment—with a sub-personality, we risk possession as we deplete our energy in an unnecessary power struggle where we lose our objective edge.
Finally, the I Ching states: “If a man were to pile up riches for himself alone, without considering others, he would certainly experience a collapse. For all gathering is followed by dispersion.” The ego is strongly warned to be fair in making decisions about what endeavors will be funded in the resolute actions of daily life. If the ego is prejudiced in its interactions and judgments of sub-personalities, it risks violent collapse through revolutionary encounters that seek a change of attitude. These can take the form of compulsions or deep depressions.
The correct position of the ego is as a firm but benevolent ruler that fairly administers the states of the personality and aligns itself with the spirit intent of the higher self.
All encounters have their dangers, but only through encounter can we fully discover and achieve the wholeness we seek. Properly armed with strength and objectivity, we are ready to advance toward union, finally reconciling our sub-personalities. In our new wholeness we are offered fulfillment now, in this lifetime, and as we journey forward and take our definitive journey in infinity.
From inside the circle, Chuck
On a synchronistic note: In her blog Jan also noticed how everything was in such alignment. Well, she happened upon this little essay from Eric Francis at Planet Waves, right in alignment with what I had been pondering for weeks and write about in this blog, sub-personalities or what Francis calls The Hemisphere Effect. Take a look, another take on it all.