“Practical Psychology for Extraordinary Living” is a special seminar series continuing the themes explored in the “Modern Mating Explained” video series, exploring the practical implications of deeper reflection on psychology for the art of living.
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Your True Self
David Tian Ph.D. states the difference between the True Self and the original self.
David Tian Ph.D. explains why we split ourselves as we grow up.
The True Self can be best defined through the Internal Family System therapy, David Tian Ph.D. expounds on this matter.
David Tian Ph.D. emphasizes why we need to find that True Self.
In this talk, David Tian Ph.D. shows the way to directly access our True Self.
David Tian: Alright. Welcome back! This is part of a series that is the Practical Psychology Series. Today, we’re going to be getting into True Self. This is a huge topic, the True Self. So I had actually recorded some other footage from an earlier seminar, and then because we had dozens and dozens of hours of footage, it all got mixed up and I think I deleted it by mistake. So, we’re re-shooting some of this.
The True Self is a very important topic, not only because obviously you want to learn about what your True Self is and all of that, but because it informs every single other topic in psychology, in personal psychology, and it is the key to fulfilment, and passion, and happiness in life that will last over the long term.
Ultimately, the True Self concept is one in which, if you don’t understand it, and you never retrieve it and act from it, you’ll never actually experience love either. But you might think you’re experiencing love, which is how most of the world is. And then they get a divorce and they thought they fell out of love, but they were actually never in love.
You’ve already watched the series on narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder and all of that, so I’m not going to review all of that. The videos leading up to this include the four-part Modern Mating Explained series and the first two parts of this series. So I think this will be going into Practical Psychology, but we’ll see.
The True Self is a concept that actually took me quite a while to understand, myself. It’s different. So, I’m just going to try to be more succinct, put it out there, and then I’ll explain it. The True Self is different from the inner child. The True Self is different from the original self that’s often contrasted against the false self.
These are some of the misconceptions that have arisen, and I’ll get into explaining clearing up those misconceptions. And then getting into what the True Self is, like laying that out in more detail. So I’m going to start with some quotes, one from Michael Gazzaniga, he’s a famous researcher in the mind and a pioneer in split-brain research. He’s a neuroscientist.
I think he’s an MIT, Harvard, or someplace like that. So here’s a quote, the pioneer of split-brain research:
“But what of the idea that the self is not a unified being, and there may exist within us several realms of consciousness? From my neuroscience studies, the new idea emerges that there are literally several selves, and they do not necessarily converse with each other internally.”
Another quote from MIT Scientist Marvin Minsky, he’s also a pioneer of AI: “The legend of the single self can only divert us from the target of that inquiry.” It can make sense to think that there exists inside your brain a society of different minds, like members of a family, the different minds can work together to help each other; each still having its own mental experiences that the others never knew about or never know about.”
That is a great way of putting the idea that the self, not necessarily the True Self, but the self of how scientists and psychologists think about what constitutes you, your identity, is made up of several modules, or minds, or parts, whatever term you want to give it. But let’s try to do it diagrammatically.
I’m going to draw a human-being looking thing. I’ll attempt to do this pretty bad here. I was never good at art at all. Alright, so he’s got hands, let’s do that, okay. So, it’s a dude. I know what a dude looks like because I look in the mirror so we’ll just go with that. It’s not sexist at all. And feet, okay I guess we’ll do it like this.
Okay, there we go. He likes that drawing. So, let’s get it a little bit higher here. Okay, that’s a little bit too accentuated now. Fuck. It looks like he had really short legs. Okay, alright. Wow, that looks — anyway.
Let’s say that this thing represents the self, and then there are parts that arise. If this is the self, we are a loosely connected collection, conglomeration, a gang, a team, though like, sometimes the team is disorganized. But we’re a collection of various parts.
So maybe the inner child is here and then there’s another child there because you had multiple perceived traumatic events in your childhood, and then one of the achiever selves is here. They’re all in different relations. So I’ll just start drawing selves in here and they’re all held together because they’re all within your body, we know that generally, unless you have a really bizarre metaphysical view of things.
So we have all these different selves, and then we grow up. And as you grow older, you develop new selves, normally, because you have new traumas. And sometimes, the new traumas that come in are perfectly well-handled by an existing part, and so the new part is created. But then it wouldn’t be very traumatic, would it? If you could handle it?
So usually, trauma would create a splitting and you create a new self. So, all of that’s happening. Now the whole time that that’s happening, there is supposed to be the assumption, one of the guiding assumptions of IFS therapy which I’ll get into in the second part of today, is the idea of a True Self.
The idea of the True Self is sort of like that the head would be like the True Self in relation to all of the different parts. It’s supposed to be in charge, and the leader, and the orchestra conductor, or the team captain, or the quarterback, or whatever the analogy you want to use is.
But often, what’ll happen is the True Self is weak or ignored, and another part takes leadership and kicks the True Self out, and the True Self goes in hiding. Now, we come up against the limitations of my diagram here, but maybe the True Self goes over here or something.
And one of the things that is fascinating about neuroscience and neuropsychology is that trauma is often trapped in parts of the body, and your parts are also often trapped in parts of the body because it arose out of the trauma. So, I don’t know if I’ve gone over this yet, but I think I have.
Embodied psychology has shown that when we have perceived trauma, we create stress signals in the body. One example is cortisol is created in the body. And we, as human beings, Homo sapiens, our race, our species has lost the natural ritual or ability. Well, we had the ability, so that’s the wrong word, the natural, I think ritual would do, of getting rid of that cortisol.
An example is when wilderness rangers need to tag bears and other such animals, wolves or whatever, they tag a lot of bears. They have to shoot them with the dart. The bear thinks it’s being hunted, so the rangers like hit it, or the preservationists hit it, and the bear goes, “Waaah!” and it runs.
They’re videotaping it run, and it runs down. They’re able to see it all. And then when the bear thinks it’s not being watched anymore, and it thinks it’s safe, it’ll go like, [NOISES] and just shake it all off. Shake out the cortisol and then it goes [NOISES]. A lot of animals will have this.
You’ll see this with dogs. It’ll do a lot of shaking not just when it’s wet and trying to get dry, but actually slough off that cortisol. Not always — I’m not a veterinarian or anything, but that’s the idea. We’ve seen this, in one of the effects of meditation is the total relaxation of the body and the release of the cortisol through the system and allowing that relaxation.
Whereas most human beings in the modern world just keep it together, and they actually have all of these aches and pains because they haven’t gone through the time to release the stress cortisol and other toxic chemicals that are reactions to perceived trauma.
So what’ll happen — so you get it all stored, and then that part actually can get activated if you touch the part of your body. And I know this sounds weird, it sounded really weird when I first started researching it, where that trauma stress chemicals, or where they’re stored in the body, where they’re concentrated in the body.
When you’re working with a very good therapist, they will tell you to– like when you get to that part, you’ll act the part, so you call that part out and you try to get into it more. So, one of the ways of doing it is to touch that part of your body, and then that’ll help you get into that role more, get into that part more.
It’s amazing that MIT scientists, and Harvard scientists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists, and researchers at medical schools are putting out this sort of research. So one great to place to start with that, I think the best introduction overall that I’ve seen, is Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score.
And in terms of the therapeutic uses of that, Peter Levine, who has published a classic book called Waking the Tiger, is a pioneer in psychosomatic therapy. Anyway, that’s not the point of this. It’s just sort of an interesting way of seeing it, which is why I drew a human being instead of like a football team or something.
They’re stored in various parts of the body, and the True Self goes in hiding because it messed up and these parts don’t trust it. I’ll get into all of that in detail later. But one of the things I want you to note is that the inner child is not the True Self. And one of the mistakes of some of the shame literature is focusing too much on the inner child to the extent that — the literature makes it seem that, if you can recover the inner child, then everything is handled.
But that’s just the first step of the process of maturing the True Self, or like discovering the power of the True Self. I’ll be getting to why that’s a special type of part, but let’s say that this is an inner child here, and I think I selected these two — these are inner children at various stages of perceived trauma, and they’re being protected by an achiever self.
The achiever self says, “Get behind me, inner child. I’ll take care of you by becoming an achiever and I’ll get us the love, and validation, and protection, and significance that we need.”
Okay. So then, the inner child also goes in hiding. The achiever would take over if it doesn’t trust the True Self to handle things. And when it comes to perceived trauma, the True Self very rarely will handle things because the reaction to trauma, which is the splitting off of a new self, would mean that the True Self wasn’t in control.
So, every one of these parts are a result of the True Self advocating its responsibility to lead. But that’s very normal for all of us because our brains are very undeveloped. One of the things that I wanted to do, but because of the limitations of this room and the recording, I wanted to show some slides of a baby’s brain.
I can draw it. This is a baby’s brain. The baby’s brain, it’s pretty interesting. There are some TED talks that show you the brain and everything. One of them — you can see how extemporaneous these talks are, I have no slides on any of this I’m sharing. She actually takes a formaldehyde, a preserved brain onto the stage which is crazy, and it’s got like all — it starts to fall apart. It’s really amazing.
Anyway, so in the brain of the baby, there are some neural networks, but it’s very basic. There’s not much going on yet. And it’s actually in terms of volume, quite small, obviously, and there’s not much going on.
And then six months later, the baby brain has all kinds of connections. And by the way, there’s like a split down the middle, it’s pretty dramatic. And as it gets older, there are more and more neural connections. It’s really interesting when you do the research in developmental psychology what it’s like to be a baby.
Of course, we all knew what it was like at some point but we don’t remember very well, partly because there were very few neurons in the brain. So as you get more and more neural pathways set, and myelin sheaths cover them and it gets Myelinized, you develop more and more resources for handling life, handling your outside environment, perceived trauma.
Now, you got this other self. One might be CEO board room self — that’s very stereotypical, very few of us have the CEO self, but you get the idea. And then another might be like, self-defense warrior or Krav Maga self as a result of being mugged in an alley way and you learn how to be a beast or something like that.
And then we have the achiever self, the pleaser self, the nice guy self, all these different parts of us that were adaptations to the external world, and then the baby brain gets bigger and bigger develops these things. And so, we start off with pretty basic inner child, True Self inner child. And then it just keeps growing.
And then at some point in our lives, or whenever you’re watching this, you have now discovered this. But most of the world, I don’t know how many people know about this, maybe 99% of people don’t know about this, I don’t know, I think that’s very believable. That 99% of the world doesn’t know about psychology.
And so, they’re living with multiple parts. And most of the time, they’re over using two or three parts. Maybe there’s a part that they are at work, a part that they are mom and dad, or family, and then there’s a part that they are with their friends. And then there’s a part that they are maybe with their girlfriend or boyfriend. That’s pretty much it.
Maybe there’s a part that they are when they are playing pickup basketball with [INAUDIBLE 00:15:27] team or something like that. Depending on what triggers them, you can have all kinds of other selves. And when you are in a relationship with somebody, over the years, you’ll start to see all of these other selves.
Because it might be like once to twice a year, grandma says some nasty thing, then boom, this other self comes up that was like an 8-year old kid and it’s freaking out and stuff. That part that was quite hidden just suddenly jumps out because it believes that the inner child that it was protecting was threatened or something like that.
Or that the True Self can’t — or that the current one in charge isn’t handling it or something. Okay, so first of all, the inner child is not your True Self, okay. And the loser guy is not your True Self, okay.
So, what I see a lot — because I’ve been talking — I’ve used the word True Self quite a bit in other videos, and sometimes I see comments from people who are saying, “What if my True Self is a loser?” They don’t use that word. Well, sometimes they do. But often, they will say, nervous, socially awkward, nice guy, shy and all that.
That’s not your True Self. That’s just another part. And that’s one of the parts that you’ve been for quite a while. Maybe shy guy is here, and that was an adaptation to fit in because when you try to be extroverted guy, you got picked on or bullied at school, so you learn if you’re just shy no one will pick on you and you’ll be safe. Maybe that’s one way that the shy guy rose.
So you stay with safe guy. Actually, it’s like, it’s a coping strategy. I’ll go with safe and not rock the boat, and then that will keep me out of trouble. That human being thinks that that early part is its True Self but that’s not true either. I’ll soon be getting into what the True Self really is, but all of this is to clear up the misconceptions of what it is not.
Another thing that the True Self is not is that it is not the original self. This is something I want to clear up because I’ve done quite a lot of work and videos on narcissism. And in, narcissism you see a contrast between the false self and the original self, and a lot of the literature uses the word true.
This kind of confuses things. After all of this research over many years, I’ve decided I’m just going to keep my vocabulary consistent even if it’s inconsistent with a book that I’m reviewing or talking about just to avoid confusion. So this is like David Tian’s usage of the word.
So I’m going to reserve the word ‘True Self’ in the sense that I will be describing the second half of this, which I take from IFS therapy, which is I think is the best one on what the True Self is. And in narcissistic personality disorder theory, there’s a false self, that’s the narcissistic self.
So the narcissist, in reaction to shame, generates the false self so that it doesn’t have to deal with how crappy it thinks its original self is or the True Self is. And the false self arises, and then all the narcissistic literatures is like, either you can treat these people and just lock them up. Or if you can treat them, the treatment is largely getting them to stop acting as their false safe. It’s getting rid of the false self.
In that way, narcissistic personality disorder could benefit a lot. I mean one of the reasons why I think that NPD is so recalcitrant to treatment is because they have not allowed enough IFS therapists, and Gestalt therapists to deal with NPD. NPD is a very scary thing! Like, it has lot security kind of issues, like these guys could get violent, these people.
And so, the whole Cluster B disordered group, we’re looking at psychopaths in there as well. So I think the therapy there is a lot harsher, and part of it is like, “Stop!” So that we understand why hopefully, that just for practical reasons, they’re like, stop being the Joker! Kind of thing.
Or you’re talking Hannibal Lecter, these are extreme examples. But you don’t want to be like, “How was your part– talk to your part?” And being all nice and stuff because he would just mind fuck you. So you got to be hard to be like, drop it! Like, drop being that false self or I’m not going to talk to you.
And that’s really tough, basically it’s really difficult for that to happen partly because I think– Now, IFS can explain it because you can’t make any existing parts just go away. The more you repress an existing part, the more you’re repressing. And the more it’s going to want to come out later in a very uncontrolled way.
Instead, what you need to do is that you need to appreciate that part, and try to figure out what that part was trying to do. And the assumption is that all parts were trying to do something good for the self. They’re never trying to kill the self.
Even just in terms of Machiavellian evolutionary theory, you wouldn’t want to be killing yourself. So all of these parts are intended to help you. Even if they’re misguided or based on misperceptions. And you can go to them, especially if they’re very young parts. So anyway, I think I’m jumping the gun on what a part is in IFS, but we’ll leave that alone.
So just to clear that up, there might be confusion as far as like, the original self is not the True Self. The original self or the True Self in NPD, in the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or Cluster B Personality Disorder literature is not the True Self in the way that I’m using that term. And I think it’s not the True Self and the best use of the term True Self.
What they’re doing is contrasting a false self that might be very malicious, and malevolent, and dangerous with the self that it was before that person decided it needed to be this way to protect itself or to get what it needs — significance, or certainty or something.
This dichotomy of a bipolar self is useful in just understanding how narcissism arises, but as far as for therapy, it’s very limited. And one thing that would be great to see is, a lot of the cluster B personality books are written for popular audience. Like, pop accessible books are very limited. They have to make it fun and readable, so they repeat themselves a lot.
You get one narcissistic personality disorder book, you pretty much read them all, but buy five of them and read them all and you can tell me what you think. And I know that there are papers on this, and maybe when you watch this there already are publications that are well-known about it, but IFS, as treatment of Cluster B is very limited in publication.
So I think what would be a great thing do to is to explore IFS in relation to NPD, though I understand the risks involved if they’re dangerous people, or if those parts are quite dangerous.
Who has ever watched split personality disordered movies, like the movie Split? Oh, cool. Yeah. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out. Bruce Willis, man. And Samuel L. Jackson apparently is reprising his role as Mr. Glass whatever. Looking forward to that.
So anyways, the therapist there treating him determines dissociative identity disorder and you see the dangers. I mean, this is very dramatized but those are the dangers of treating psychopaths and — What’s the name? Harley Quinn?
There’s all of these examples. Silence of the Lambs. These are great movies, exaggerated to a certain degree. There are some really scary people out there in the world. If you Google, Paul Bernardo, you will learn about one of them. I read about all of the core proceedings for Bernardo and his wife, Karla Homolka, I shouldn’t be saying their names.
But it’s very instructive to see it because at the age 14 or however old I was, when the court proceedings happened, I learned about the extent of evil. Because I was a pretty sheltered middle-class boy in Mississauga, Ontario at the time, and these crimes where perpetrated nearby.
Basically, one of the examples is his wife’s sister. His wife convinced her little sister to take a drink that put her to sleep so that her boyfriend could rape her little sister. And then unfortunately, she overdosed on the medicine and vomited while she was being raped, and then choked on her own vomit and she died.
And then they chopped up her body or something and covered it up, and no one found out for decades or for many years. And then they just kidnapped two other girls, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old, tortured them, raped them, and videotaped it all, which is crazy.
The narcissism is extreme there; to see yourself, to wanting to see yourself commit crimes of torture and so on. And then at the end, for 9 days they just raped them, tortured them and in the end killed them, chopped them up, put their body parts into cement, and then sink them in a river or something.
And it’s just like, the girls all came in, because the wife’s tricked them to come into the van. And then you might have heard of all these cases of men who have dungeons in their basements, they kidnap girls, and then keep them there, and then some for like 20 years or something.
Oh you might have seen that movie, The Room or Room. A very moving, true story. Actually, quite a few of them are so disgusting. Anyway, why am I going to this? Because these are examples of the dangers of these Cluster B personality disorders.
So IFS is a very compassionate type of treatment. So I can see why maybe it’s too risky or something. But anyway, desperate times call for desperate measures. And let’s get into what dissociative identity disorder is, because that’s an easily understood segue into what we are like.
So this might seem really weird to you because there’s a lot of like, you think, “I’m not a multiple personality disorder person.” So let’s understand what that is. So, dissociative identity disorder is the sense of being inhabited by worrying impulses in the parts.
We all have parts in us, and sometimes these parts are in harmony; and in a mature, flourishing, fulfilled individual, they are in harmony, and they are being led by a True Self. But for most people, there is some degree of disharmony. And that’s often like, if you procrastinate, or if you get frustrated a lot, or if you’re unsatisfied in your life. That’s an example of worrying impulses among your parts and you haven’t been able to reconcile them.
But some people have that to an extreme degree and they can’t control which parts pop out. You see that with Split. Brilliant performance from McAvoy, and that’s a really, nice dramatic way to see what that’s like.
The self splits into parts in reaction to trauma. And as the child grows up, the parts don’t automatically integrate into a coherent self or personality. And instead, these split-off parts lead relatively autonomous existences. Some of the parts realize or have some awareness of what is happening when another part is in charge, but one mark of DID is that they’re relatively autonomous.
What created these parts were adaptations to perceived trauma and they will continue to pop out until the self feels safe, until that part deems that the inner child or whatever’s being protected is safe.
And a great example is in Split. It’s a great example because, you probably seen it, and the performances are amazing, it’s a great movie. It’s not super accurate or anything, but one thing that’s accurate or one thing that’s close to true is he gets to that point where he kills the–
Oh, man, who’s not seen it? Holy fuck, half the room. What the hell are you doing with your lives? Get relevant. I mean, spoiler alert, fuck it, I don’t care, I’m doing it for the video. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t understand what you’re doing with your life. I won’t tell you who he kills, he kills somebody.
And that somebody tells the heroine to say his real name. And when she says his real name, he starts to react, and these different parts start to recoil from it and they start retreating. Like, “Somebody knows us.” And that’s an interesting depiction of what shame is like.
And then the inner child comes out, or the part that was being protected. Now, in this case, it wasn’t a child self, it was like a teenager self or something and he’s like, “Oh shit, what just happened?” And then he’s sort of aware that he was not in charge and that shit happens when he’s unconscious and stuff like this.
And then she talks to him for a while, but then, boom! One of the first selves comes back, and she’s like, “Is it so and so again?” and three or four more selves start coming in during the conversation, and then she knows that she’s lost it again. And it’s sort of like that, not as dramatic or anything, when the reason why parts arise are to protect some other self, some other part from perceived danger.
And it won’t finish until it feels like it’s safe. And what IFS therapy would do, or the treatment for DID, whether you do it with IFS or not, is to integrate all the parts that are wounded or fighting off trauma.
It’s the integration of them, not the denial or repression of them. Because further denial or repression of them will just make them stronger in the end. And what the therapy is supposed to do is help the parts give up their extreme beliefs and misperceptions, and fears, and adaptations.
This is how therapy can save lives. Okay, so now we’re going to move into IFS therapy. Before we do that, let’s take a little break. Are there any questions?
Audience: My understanding of the True Self now is it’s like different for a lot of selves. Is that correct? [INAUDIBLE 00:31:35].
David Tian: The True Self is supposed to have executive control like an orchestra conductor over the other players in the orchestra.
Audience: So, if you consider, like, a timeline of [INAUDIBLE 00:31:50] occur, does this all just [INAUDIBLE 00:31:52]?
David Tian: Yeah. The assumption, the guiding assumption is that the True Self was always there. Of course, the reason I drew the brain was because there was very little there. Like when you’re three months old or one month old, you can barely see. Like, you’re just trying to figure out what you’re looking at.
But the idea is, the first self to come online is the True Self. That’s the guiding subject, but it’s not important because we can’t prove that. So what difference does it make? But the assumption is that it was there as the original self, and what would free you up from is thinking that you need to develop a True Self.
So IFS therapy one of the guiding assumptions is that the True Self already knows what needs to be done, and you just need to tap into it and allow it to take control, and then have the parts trust it more by allowing it to lead. I’ll get into all of that in the second half of this, so let’s just wait until we get there.
In the last video, I went into what the True Self, as a special term of art, that I’m now using and have been using some of the time, what it means, and what it does not mean. Well actually, we haven’t gone to what it means yet, but that’s what we’re going to do now, but I went into what it doesn’t mean.
So I disabused you of various different notions about equating the inner child with the True Self or the NPD literatures use of the original self versus the false self, that’s not the dichotomy the True Self is getting at. I think now is the best view of what this self is, and the most–
The reason why it’s the best is because it’s the most effective, most helpful and probably closest to the true sense of– or the most accurate sense of a True Self is the IFS theory of True Self. So, let’s get into that, what is IFS therapy? And I’ve been putting it out there but I haven’t even the defined the fact that IFS stands for Internal Family Systems therapy.
And the reason I don’t want to say that is because some people think it’s got something to do with family therapy. It actually does have its roots of family therapy, because in a family, you have their parts and there are roles. From Schwartz, who was the founder of IFS, he was a family therapist and noticed that this was a macrocosm of what’s happening in the individual.
IFS is Internal Family System therapy. What is that, exactly? And I started the earlier section with quotes from neuroscientists on the fact that, probably the most accurate view of what we are, our identity, our personal identity is a collection of selves, and it might help to think of them in terms of parts and reserve the use of the word self, to speaking about the conglomeration or the collection of the parts.
IFS is largely concerned with how to develop internal leadership. DID, which is what we ended with in the last part, is the split personality. DID is a lack of internal leadership because no one’s really in charge; they all pop out in dysfunctional ways.
IFS helps you to integrate your parts and create internal leadership. Parts, and I had that funky diagram that I drew by hand, of the various parts of you that are attached or anchored to parts in your body, that’s not anything I’m going to defend in this section or this series.
But the parts of you of various personalities or sub-personalities is a term coming out of Jungian psychology, we’re basically talking about the same thing, they’re not just feelings. It’s not like sometimes I feel sad, and it’s like the Seven Dwarves or something.
Like, that’s this dopey part, or that’s the sad part, and then there’s a dopey part, and there’s there a mad part. The parts are not feelings. There’s a Disney movie called Inside Out. I think I watched it on the airplane. It was actually a good movie.
There, these parts in this little girl are actually feelings, and that’s a fun depiction but the parts are, that’s very inaccurate, the parts are not defined by feelings; the parts are actually distinct personalities. They’re distinct ways of being. And it’s a lot more accurate, it’s a lot closer to what you see in Split or any of these dissociative disorder movies.
The parts have their own tonality, their own vocabulary. Sometimes, they can operate with different parts. So basically, they’re accessing different parts of the brain. And sometimes they can do it simultaneously. So, there are some cases of split personality where the person’s writing with both hands and they’re different handwriting styles, and they’re actually saying different things.
This is just crazy; I mean literally, it’s crazy. They have their own tonality, the vocabulary, their body posture, the movements. So, you could see this in the movie Split, it’s a lot like that. Parts are not just feelings. It’s not like Disney. It’s like scary movies. That’s what real life is.
So internal leadership skills mean this: how well we listen to our different parts, how well we ensure that the needs of our different parts are met, and how well we keep them from sabotaging one another. Okay, internal leadership. Let me try to write some headings here, just so you can keep track of where we are, even though my back is now to the camera.
Internal leadership. So IFS therapy is one of the best empirically backed up therapies. It is posted by the NREP, the National Registry for Evidence Based Programs and Practices, which is maintained by US government SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
And this registry is used by insurance companies to decide whether a treatment is good enough to be covered by insurance, this is very important. So far, the only therapy style that’s listed is CBT. CBT has had a ton of empirical research on it. But IFS now has a lot and some cases, I think more than half the cases, but more and more studies come out all the time, it is more effective than CBT.
I like it because I’ve been pretty good at CBT it turns out all my life, very rational, well not all of my life, but starting from seven years old when I was interested in philosophy, and the cognitive therapy is really just philosophy. And then I learned behavioral conditioning.
And in fact, CBT was how I got good at pick-up. Basically, taking the CBT approach. I’ve actually written a paper, published a paper on Wang Yangming which is like, in my opinion, the best Chinese philosopher but you’ve probably never heard of him from the 15th century, Wang Yangming’s moral psychology as a kind of CBT.
It’s very specialist of a paper. It’s not written for the general reader, but if you’re interested, e-mail me and I’ll maybe email firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can get you the copy. Okay, anyway so, in order to be on the national registry, IFS was subjected to independent rigorous scrutiny and is deemed to show significant impact on individual outcomes relating to mental health.
In particular studies indicating promising IFS’s effects on mind, including depression and anxiety; the body, including physical health conditions; and the spirit, including personal resilience and the self-concept. Okay so, IFS is good. That’s the point. Now, let’s get into what IFS teaches as we build up to the idea of the True Self.
First, let’s understand parts, because the job of the True Self is to integrate, and harmonize, and conduct the parts. Most of us aren’t living or leading our lives with the True Self in charge, most of us have parts in charge. And that’s what creates that exhaustion, and that frustration. And even when the True Self has been in charge, it’s a very simple matter for it to lose its authority and trust with the parts.
And for the parts to sort of like hijack the leadership, or mutiny is another metaphor that would work. So the first part we’re going to look at is the exile parts. The exile parts include the inner child or the inner children. How is an exile part created?
Exile parts are created when trauma happens, perceived trauma. And again, when you’re a baby, when you were a child, it doesn’t take much to traumatize you. Now, there’s a whole section I wanted to include in the beginning and then I forgot because I’m doing this pretty much extemporaneously, so I remembered it now.
I wanted to point out the fact that in Practical Psychology Part Two, I went into the idea of the inner child and in quite a lot of detail and has its relationship to shame. One objection I wanted to discuss or deal with is the notion that the inner child is bullshit. So it’s sort of like, “My memory is faulty. I don’t fucking remember when I was a kid and all shit.”
So part of the idea there is, like if you understand how the child’s brain is formed, you can see how basic the brain is, and how vulnerable it is, and how easy it is for it to perceive trauma. Again, I recommend to everyone a brilliant book called Drama of the Gifted Child. At some point, I’ll do a DTPHD podcast analysis of the book. It’s a very short book. I read it in one night, and it’s like a hundred pages.
And it’s mostly like stories from the child’s perspective and explaining why the child would perceive some — relatively from the outside, to an adult — a harmless event, as a reason to split off and form a new self. These parts are reactions to perceived trauma, not necessarily to war or rape.
Okay, so obviously these things that even would strike adults as traumatic can cause an adult to split off. If they were inflicted on a child, it would be devastating. And of course, the exiled part of the inner child would go in hiding very quickly and– So but, for those of us who have not undergone tragedies like that, daily life happens.
Just like, a parent who’s a little bit sloppy or tired happens. And that’s often enough to take a young child into a different direction. And school happens, school is guaranteed to traumatize you. School in fact traumatizes you, I’ll just put that out there. That may not be a bad thing because if your objective in school is to be workers, then it traumatizes the fuck out of them because it’s good.
It’s sort of like if you want to create circus elephants, you need to like beat them and shit. Because then they’ll be good circus elephants. So literally, if you want a human being to sit in a factory and put beads together for 10 hours a day under fluorescent lights which is like what school is originally designed to do to make factory workers in the early 1900s, late 1800s, then it’s a great thing to do.
But if you want human flourishing, and happiness, and joy, and passion in life, and finding out that he’s a really good e-sports player, it can make millions of dollars doing that, school will rip that person to shreds. School will just destroy you. And of course, if you’ve been in the army, that probably would’ve done it.
Go Google Lester Young, one of my favorite tenor saxophoners. He was drafted in the Second World War, he never played the same after. And I don’t even think he saw any battle, it’s just the whole training. Anyway, I love the military, so I think I would thrive there.
But anyway, the point is this: life happens. It’s like Forrest Gump. And shit happens, and the child-like brain perceives a lot of things as a threat, and it has to be as a certain way to get safety, or love, or acceptance, or approval, or significance. Okay so, it’s pretty easy for exile parts to happen.
We all have them. Okay, and I’ll give an example. For example, a child-like fun part — Let me just back that up. Let me just explain how the exile parts happen so you understand how the inner child was formed or protected and then split off. So, inner child is full of joy, and fun, and play, and then it gets scolded really, really bad and shamed in front of all these kids and whatever.
Or maybe it’s just being toyed with and it doesn’t understand why everyone’s laughing. That’s a big part about like, when you’re playing with a four year old, if they’re super cute but they keep falling and you’re laughing, they don’t interpret it as, “I’m really cute and it’s because people love me.”
They’re like, “They’re laughing at me because I’m a loser, because I just have this pathetic little body and I can’t be powerful like them, and that’s why I can’t have ice cream.” That’s actually what’s happening if that were to happen. So be careful how you laugh at the kid. You’ve got to make sure you let the child know that you’re not laughing at it, but with it.
Even though in fact you’re laughing at it, if it’s really cute. Anyways, so the child has some perceived trauma. The trauma injects that part that’s split off to deal with the perceived trauma. The trauma injects that part with beliefs and emotions that force them out of their naturally valuable state.
For example, a child-like fun part would react to abuse or perceived abuse by becoming hurt, frozen, and carrying pain, terror and betrayal with it. So, it’s a frightened child now. These exiles are parts that carry burdens of trauma, which are toxic of course, so they get locked away inside to keep them safe, because now it’s a frightened child.
And then a part arises to protect the frightened child, and maybe that’s an achiever part, a managerial part. It takes on the protective role. The second type of part, is a managerial part, so I’m taking these terms right out of IFS.
And a managerial part are parts that were organized to protect the exiles. They were to hide the toxic exiles. But then in so doing, they take on some of the energy of the abusers. The abuser is part of what they know, or maybe unconsciously or consciously, trying to do is to shove that child down, or the exiled part, or the fun loving part or whatever part it is that they’re abusing.
And then the exiled may not be the inner child, it could be a 17-year-old woman who’s raped, or actually any aged woman who’s raped, and that part of her that she believed was there when the thing happened or what drew this guy would often go into hiding. Now, the older we get, the more resilient we are and the more parts we already have.
It’s the young who are the most vulnerable. Anyway, what happens is the managerial part comes up but then part of its job and its adaptation is to hide the toxic exile. In one sense it’s protecting it, but in another sense it’s actually suppressing or repressing it. So then, the inner child gets repressed as a result.
And the managerial part in that sense is taking on the energy of the abusers. And also, it takes on the energy of the abusers because the natural thing that human beings do is to fight fire with fire. So, we become, in a sense, the abuser, like the abuser. And you might have had a critical or perfectionistic parent, and that would’ve naturally created a critical perfectionistic manager self, to make sure that you never get too close to anyone who might hurt you.
And this would drive you to be relentlessly productive. So it’s like, “I’ll show you, mom!” And you become like, “Mom, just show her.” Or maybe, it looks like you all have loving moms because no one nodded to that. But, “I’ll show you, dad!” As I’m getting closer, “I’ll show you, teacher.” whatever.
One other type of managerial part would be to just say “Fuck it.” Not like extreme, but like, “I’m going to purposely rebel and do the opposite thing.” But in any case, the managerial part is trying to manage the fear, and the hurt, and pain of the exile.
And then the third type of self, of part, is the firefighter, the firefighter parts. Now, you’ll see a firefighter when you really trigger somebody. So, the firefighters are like the last resort. Like, maybe you’ve had these epic fights with your girlfriend, or your wife, or your husband, and he just becomes something else, or she becomes something else, like the hulk.
I like to call it the Banshee. When you see the Banshee come, because I’ve had many failed relationships in the past, and I’m very familiar with the Banshee, partly the reason why I drew that energy into my life is because my mother could become the banshee if she had a really bad day at work, came home and took it out on us.
Very understandable as an adult now looking at back on my parent’s life then, how stressful it was. But anyway, the firefighter is also organized to protect the exiles, but it does it in a way that’s more extreme because it believes emergency measures are needed, because something is about to happen that’s very, very bad.
So they hide the toxic exiles, but they to, in so doing, take on the energy of the abuser, but it’s even more exaggerated. So fire-fighters are like emergency responders, they act impulsively whenever an experience triggers and exile the emotion.
So the exiles might be marked by a dominant emotion of fear, most of the time, and sadness, and pain, and hurt, and so on. When it feels it like that, like the exile, like it feels like the inner child is wounded because maybe in the fight you said something that triggered something, it was an anchor and you hit it and triggered it; and then it’s too late for the manager, because the manager’s there, on a day to day basis to keep everything together and keep it down.
But the fire-fighter now is like fuck man, just not doing it, the kid’s going to come out. The kid’s about to cry. The kid’s about to come out of the room we locked it in and take over and that’s the scariest thing. Because if the kid comes out, and just breaks down, and cries and bawls, or it gets really fucking afraid or whatever it is that is the dominant, scary emotion, then everything would go to shit because the kid is what created all of these parts in the first place.
The whole reason they arose was to avoid the kid being exposed and vulnerable. Okay so, they’re like, “Shit. The kid’s about to come out, damn it! What’re we going to do? We got to come out and like, no!” And the kid’s like behind is the idea. “No to the perpetuator.” That’s breaking into the door of the kid.
And therapy actually is, and I’m jumping the gun a little bit but just because this is a good way to get there, therapy is actually trying to get the inner child out. So one of the first steps is, maybe the second step is to bring the inner child out.
The first step is to talk to all the parts that would be freaking the fuck out to protect the inner child from coming out, and then getting them to trust their True Self. And sometimes, if the True Self in you hasn’t had leadership in a very long time, that parts just won’t trust it, so then the therapist has to stand in as your True Self and guide these parts to stand down and let the inner child come out and then the healing can begin.
The healing can’t begin if you just lock up the inner child. So you’ll notice that when the Banshee comes out or when you’ve seen some really crazy fights, the people involved are never in their right mind. They basically regressed to whenever that trauma is getting triggered.
It could be eight-year-olds fighting at each other even though they’re in the bodies of 30-year-olds. So the firefighter says, “Hell, no!” And actually what happens is the firefighter parts come out to do the fighting. They will be as old as whenever they came out.
So if the first time you had a firefighter was like eight years old, well, now you’re dealing with an eight-year-old self. And they’re very irrational, and they’re very much in their emotion, and they’re very aggressive or whatever it is.
Maybe they’re just sobbing as a way of hiding the deeper pain or whatever. So the grief work in the shame literature works alongside this in getting the trust of the inner child to come out and then feel the pain or the perceived negative emotion that it’s been trying to avoid.
Okay, so the firefighter’s job is to stop that from happening. We are fighting our therapists, in that way. We’re always trying to not feel. So I’ve gone over this in many other videos, Man Up episodes, and so on, on therapy. So we’ll move on here.
Each split off part holds different memories, beliefs and physical sensations in it. In that sense, it is a well-developed separate personality. You can think of them as sub-personalities. Some of our parts hold the shame; some hold the rage, some hold the pleasure, some hold the excitement or the intense loneliness, or some of them hold the abject compliance.
But all parts have a function: to protect the family of parts from feeling the full terror of vulnerability which would lead to annihilation. The reason why vulnerability is so scary, of letting the inner child out, is because in order for a part to come out, there must have been some perceived trauma.
And then basically it’s like the child is stuck in time, re-living this trauma, but we try to avoid it from happening, so we shove it deep in our unconscious mind so that we don’t get to it anymore. It’s very Black Mirror, in that sense. But it’s stuck re-living this loop, and when it comes out, it has to re-live that thing. It’s feeling that the whole time.
And the greatest fear is the fear of death. The twin terrors of the fear that we won’t be loved and the fear that we’re not enough are all founded on the fear that if we don’t get love, we would die. The terror of annihilation. So I’ve a whole other video series on this, on the meaning of life and death, and it was based on, it was like a reading, or like an analysis of Becker’s Denial of Death.
Okay, so this all jives with that, it’s all consistent with it. All the parts have the function, ultimately to protect their family from feeling the full terror of impending death annihilation. And so, basically, what you need to do is to recognize that each part is stuck with burdens from the past and respect and appreciate their functions in the overall family system. So, the natural thing that the average person does is they think, “I don’t like that part of me.” And this is where NPD literature really makes a lot of sense.
There’s a part of you that you don’t like, the shy, awkward part or whatever that you’re sort of embarrassed of being, and you maybe feel humiliated or something, in being in that part and then you just shove it down. Actually, that’s not the way you’ll ever grow and mature and get real power over yourself and life.
Instead, the way to do it is actually counter intuitive. You let it come out and you recognize that part is that way, because it’s burdened from the past; and then you respect and appreciate it, that it was trying to do something for you, for the whole family, for you, the family of self that you are.
And you need to ensure that all parts feel welcome and appreciate that they were formed in an attempt to protect the self system. So you maybe have this perfectionistic self that you want to get rid of, and maybe you’ve done some work, and your intermediate level therapy work, and you see that part of yourself, and you’re just like, “Man, if I could just get rid of that part of me, then everything would be great.”
But actually, that’s the wrong way to go, you need to appreciate that part because it was actually doing something good for you. And then when you appreciate it, you respect it, and appreciate it, and hold it up to the light and really see, like, “I love you.” Not just like, “I see you man, you’re doing good”, fist pump.
It’s more like, “I love you, thank you. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for doing this for the family system.” But you are tired, you’re over used, you need to rest. And when you relieve that part of its great responsibility of protection, it will change. All of these parts initially had a positive intent.
They were all formed in an attempt to protect the self system. So now, we get to the idea, one of the guiding assumptions of IFS, which is that each part has positive intent. And I have a whole other guided meditation just to get you there, to experience the positive intent for yourself.
But the theory is, every part in you has a positive intent for the family system, for you, the person. Even if — because it was young or less developed intellectually or just didn’t understand psychology or whatever, or if it was just young, even if its perceptions led to actions or effects that turned out to be counterproductive or to cause dysfunction in you.
So there’s never any reason to actually fight with, or coerce, or try to kill or eliminate a part of you. That is actually, if you try that, it will actually lead to greater neurosis and greater disorders psychologically. The way to grow and the way to experience true freedom in the self is to promote the internal connection and integration which would lead to the harmony.
Now we get to True Self. Now we understand what the True Self is. The True Self is a guiding assumption, it’s sort of like a hypothesis, and then you test it by trying it out: Does it give the desired result? The True Self is an undamaged essence, is the assumption.
It’s beneath the surface of the protective parts. And the True Self is confident, is curious, is calm, and it’s sheltered from destruction by various protector parts. And only when the protector parts feel safe and trust the True Self can the True Self naturally emerge and lead the other parts in healing in integration.
I love this theory. I mean, it really resonated with me because my favorite school of Chinese philosophy has a view of, from their view of Buddhism, of a kind of True Self. My favorite philosopher, Wang Yangming, has a concept called liangzhi which is like, pure knowing.
And he says the liangzhi always knows, it always perceives. And the thing is, siyu or self-centered desires! That’s one that I’ve actually written quite a lot on, self-centered, not selfish desires, cloud the pure knowing from seeing, and you got to remove that so you can act perfectly.
Anyway, I thought that was a nice little thing in case you’re a fan of Chinese philosophy. This has precedence in zhuangzi, in Mencius, and of course in Buddhism. The True Self in Buddhism, the famous metaphor is the mirror, the dust, or the waves.
So, the pure-knowing. And the True Self, it’s an interesting hypothesis. You just try it out in therapy and you’ll find that you do know these things. And it’s an amazing thing, I first felt this at Tony Robbins, Unleash the Power Within event, of all things. And part of what he gets you to do is he’s, in like by day three of UPW, he starts referring to you as, “Let me hear YOU!”
And when he says you, capital Y You, that is your powerful self. And it might be a powerful self, a powerful part that you haven’t tapped into, or haven’t used yet, but it could also be your True Self. The True Self is confident, curious, calm. And those are all very powerful parts.
And it knows what needs to be done. You know those tricky conversations that you have? Like, you may not know, any times, I’m not sure which business decision is the best. The True Self isn’t like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. It’s not like Einstein who knows the answer to your math question.
But the theory is that it knows how to integrate and harmonize these parts. It knows how to lead with emotion. And whenever you have these difficult decisions, like maybe you’re gay and you’re like, “Should I come out to my parents?” The answer’s yes!
And then you’re like, “Ahh!” So it’s like, I heard it somewhere, I can’t remember where, that the conversations that are the most difficult and frightening for you are the ones you must have. Your True Self knows which ones are the most difficult and frightening. The True Self knows it must have it.
Maybe it’s not in leadership, in charge. So these other parts, driven by fear, because that’s what all protective parts are driven by, come in and prevent it from doing that. So once the protected parts feel safe, then the True Self will naturally emerge.
The True Self has executive function. The True Self re-organizes the inner system and communicates with the parts to establish trust among the parts. Trust in it. Trust in the True Self. And an example of how neuroscience backs this up is when you are meditating effectively, what you’ll see is an increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex.
They’ve done all kinds of scans on Buddhist meditators and they’ve discovered that when they’re meditating, the medial prefrontal cortex has a lot of activity. And there’s a decrease in activity in the more primitive structures of the brain like the amygdala.
The theory is your True Self is — one way to directly access your True Self is through meditation. And luckily, I’ve been championing meditation since the moment I learned it, which was coming up to four years now. An amazing thing, do it every day and it gets you in touch with your True Self. Sometimes, there’s a lot of crap going on as your brain settles.
And those are your parts, all warring and stuff. And the True Self is like, “Ah okay, I see all that happening. Yes, yes.” And it’s just like floating above it all. And then when all of that chatter quiets down, then you can really become present. And that’s the medial prefrontal cortex getting activated.
So in terms of like, where is the True Self? Well you can point at that part of your brain, the medial prefrontal cortex. That’s where your True Self is. Now, it’d be interesting like if you did some lobotomy and cut out the medial prefrontal cortex, your True Self would be gone! You’d probably be dead.
An analogy I like is the True Self as an orchestra conductor. I like music. I like classical music too, and so maybe — but you could take like the captain of the football team or quarterback, whoever calls the shots. But what’s good about the orchestra conductor analogy is the conductor is not in the orchestra.
I guess you could say the coach from the sidelines yelling out plays. But yeah, when they’re all in harmony, they’re playing beautiful music. But sometimes, there are parts for all of us, for everyone before they discover this, the natural thing to do, the natural development, is to have a really lousy sounding orchestra with some parts just completely dominating, always standing up and doing solos when they’re not supposed to.
And some other parts like waiting to hit the triangle, and never getting to. “What about me? What about me?” “Just shut up and sit in the corner.” And what happens when the True Self is not in control, so that cacophonous orchestra is blending.
And this is a condition in which the self identifies with the part. And this is what happens to narcissists who have NPD. They think, and they hope to God, for like, compensatory narcissists, that the false part — So, the false self is a part, and it’s a part that they’re working on, so they go to it a lot.
A pick-up artist would keep developing it, and going clubbing and it becomes like — they’ll even don a costume. They’ll play some pump up music. They’ll speak differently. They’ll stand differently. They’ll move differently. They’ll have different thoughts. They’re developing a new personality.
It’s interesting because this is a conscious development of a part. That’s very rare. This is why it’s so hard for most dudes to actually get good at pick up, because it’s actually difficult to do. You’re actually consciously creating a persona. Most adults don’t have space for another persona.
They already have so many fucking parts in their brain that there’s no room for another one. But some trauma from some girl or whatever would lead to the attempt to do so. And generally speaking, the harsher the trauma, the perceived trauma of the break-up or whatever it is, would cause the momentum to keep going through.
Or the loneliness would give them momentum to keep going through the journey of creating a false self. And what happens is blending happens if this True Self is not in control. Where is the True Self? It’s gone. Or the True Self probably wasn’t there for a long time. And a loser self was there, a loser part.
And so, the false self, the cool part, is coming out. But it could be anything. It could be any of those parts taking over, and then it thinking, the family system thinking, that that is the True Self. And this is called blending in IFS therapy, and it will lead to thoughts or phrases like, “I want to kill myself” or “I hate you”.
Versus when you’ve gone through the therapy, you could start identifying these and detach from them, then they’re not dangerous. Versus a healthier or a more mature part of you that wants to kill itself by saying, “Hmm, a part of me wishes I were dead.” And a good IFS therapist will lead you to detach from that part because you’re blended with it.
Or, “A part of me gets triggered when you do that, and it makes me want to kill you.” When very mature people fight, that’s the sort of thing you hear and it’s bizarre is fuck. You never see that on TV. What couple fights like that? But a mature couple will say, “Right now, you’re triggering me, and I feel like I did when I was eight years old, my dad didn’t show up to my birthday party” or whatever.
And then that warns the other person like, “Okay, okay. Back off.” Because now that person is getting out of control, and I can control this. Or like, “Yeah, but then you triggered me because of this.” So now they’re like a warning, “We can back off, everyone. Let’s cool down. Let’s let the True Self come back and control everything.”
So it’s not blended. What most people do is they blend. They’re like, “You triggered me!” and the entirety of like Western civilization right now seems to have a blending problem. I want to do like a podcast or maybe a cool short video on that, the toxicity of the #MeToo excess. Or the toxic #MeToo. There’s a legitimate #MeToo and there’s a toxic #MeToo.
But it’s all like, “I blame you for how I feel!” and that’s a blend– and then sort of like, the reason you would do that is because you can’t control how you feel, because your True Self’s not in charge. Instead, you blend another part of you that’s out of control, thinks it’s the self. So how do you get to this point? How do you get to this level of maturity that you’re able to float like in meditation, and observe that you are thinking this?
Not that I’m thinking it, but I’m observing that I’m thinking this, or I’m observing that I am having this thought. The first step is to communicate with your parts, and that requires separating the parts. So you start to say things like, and think things like, this part of me is like a little child, and that part of me is more mature but feels like a victim”, etc.
You start naming your parts and separating them out. “Okay, when this happens I’m feeling this way and that part feels this way. And when this happens, that part feels this way. And that part feels this way when that happens, and it’s probably because of this other thing.” You’re starting to see that you’re not your parts.
You’re not any one part, I should say; you’re the collection of them. And ideally, the True Self will be inhabiting leadership position, so when you speak, it’s the True Self speaking. And then you direct each part as it emerges to step back temporarily so that you can see what that part is trying to protect.
That’s how you get the parts to unblend. And then you need to it to unblend from the True Self. Earlier, I had a diagram of the human body, and the analogy is the True Self is like the head. And then I’m like, “Well, when the head disappears, or when the parts don’t trust it, it usurps that position and it goes in hiding, the True Self.”
Another thing that will happen is, the True Self will blend so that — let’s say the achiever invades the True Self and takes over. Sort of like when in The Matrix, Neo went into the bad guy at the end, and took over, and killed him. And he’s like, “Wah, what’s happening?” Except the True Self is still there, it’s just in hiding, it’s blended and it’s now not in control.
And that’s when you feel like, “I’m not in control. I can’t control it. I’m triggered.” And here’s some questions that can lead you to think these things, and I got to figure out where — Okay, we’re getting close to the end but I do have to end off, and I do want to give some time to questions.
So I’ll end off with this slide and then I’ll finish the rest in a separate talk. Here are the questions that you can lead you to unblend and allow the True Self to naturally emerge. Whenever you feel something bad, something that’s starting to trigger you, you’re going like the Hulk, going from Bruce Banner to Hulk kind of thing.
It doesn’t have to be anger and Hulk. It could be like sadness or fear or whatever. Well, everything’s rooted in fear, isn’t it? It starts with, “What inside me feels this way?” Because you’re like feeling it, okay. Now detach from it by asking, “What inside me feels this way?” Okay, “What part of me feels that way?”
And then you ask, “How do I feel towards that part of me? How do I feel towards that part of me? How do I feel towards that sad part of me? How do I feel towards that vengeful part of me? How do I feel towards that frightened, terrified part of me?” Okay, and so, what you’re looking for is compassion.
Anything else or like compassion, empathy; anything else of like, “I’m ashamed of it. I want it to leave”, any of that shit, you’re fucked. That’s not the True Self talking. That’s another part that’s warring with that part. So you get to the point where you have compassion for yourself, and that’s why I talked about every part has positive intent.
Let’s start with that assumption. It’s feeling this emotion. How do you feel towards that part of you? And then as you feel compassion, empathy, love towards it, think gratitude towards it — because it’s trying, it’s trying to help. So then, what you do is see if that part that feels that way would be willing to stand back for a while, step aside for a while.
Have it literally in your mind step out. Like, “Take a break man. I love you. Thank you.” You feel it, whatever it is that that part’s feeling and then say, “Would you be willing to stand down for a little while?” And then you ask yourself, “How do I feel toward that part, now that it’s standing down or that it’s stood down?”
And then you then dialogue with this part, and you ask yourself, “What do I say to the part about that? Where do I want to go now? What feels like the right next step?” So, you speak to the part, it stood down. How do you feel towards the part? Tell the part how you feel.
And then where do I want to go now? What feels like the right next step? And then in the next section, I’ll get into how to speak to each of these different parts. The managerial parts, the firefighter parts, and then we get to the exiles.
And then that’s where we start to do the real work. When you get these managerial and firefighter parts that come out, to get them to stand down, and then we can work with the inner child, inner children, the exiles. And they may not be children again. Exiles is probably a much more accurate term, let’s just stick with that; whatever part is being protected.
And when it comes out, it’s a very sensitive time, because if it’s not dealt with delicately, or like properly, with compassion, and love, and care, then at the moment it feels unsafe, boom, you got a firefighter coming in and you’ll lose yourself. You lose the patient, you lose yourself.
So that’s a little preview, but there’s a lot to share about each of those parts and how you get them to come out, and unblend, and stand down, and heal, and so on.
Alright, well, we’ll deal with the questions, so thank you for watching.