When Our Parts Don’t Agree

“My goal is to make space for my selfhood. All of it. All of me, not just the parts I like or think that others like but all of it.” –Tracee Ellis Ross

We all have parts to us.  Part of me may want to go out to eat, but another part wants to stay home.  Part of me wants to clean the house on a Saturday morning, but another part wants to sleep in.  It is normal for our parts to be in conflict with each other, but when they don’t agree, how do we decide who wins?  I envision all of us to have many different parts within.  These aspects of our self all have their own personalities.  We all have a lazy part, but when the lazy part constantly wins we begin to define ourselves as lazy.  When the addiction part constantly wins, we define ourselves as an addict.  I envision each part to have a counterpart.  The lazy part is balanced by an energetic part.  The responsible part is balanced by an irresponsible part.  So, what do we do when our parts are in conflict?

I recently had a session with a client who was frustrated with her habit of procrastination.  She discussed how whenever she had a project to do in school, she would wait until the last minute and then rush to complete the assignment, often getting poor grades.  She was aware that other people in her class were working on their projects from the moment they were assigned.  She wanted to know why they could be disciplined, when she couldn’t.  We discussed how she has a disciplined part as well, it is just being overshadowed by the procrastination part.  We talked about the power that the procrastination part had been given over the years and why her procrastination part felt the need to take control whenever she had a project to complete.

The key to controlling our parts is to increase our awareness of the parts.  We are not our parts.  Our awareness is the director of the parts.  It is our authentic self who is actually in control of our parts.  When our director is able to recognize that a part has taken over it can decide if the part’s action is in alignment with who we say we want to be, or not.  It is the director’s job to decide which part wins when our parts don’t agree.  Our authentic self knows what our goals are and what actions we need to take to be true to ourselves.  It can then choose which part will win when the parts don’t agree.  How much control does your director have, or are the parts running amok?

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