We all know the experience of feeling “crazy” because we’re full of conflicting desires, and we’re sure that at least one of them must be “wrong” or “bad” or “a wound” or some other thing that we just want to get rid of.
Here’s the part that will probably make you look at me like I just sprouted a third head – all that struggle, all those conflicting drives that feel like they’re pulling you to pieces – they’re all you. (Yes, even when it looks like the other end of the wishbone is somebody else.) They all belong there, inside you. They’re all valid – there’s not a one of them that is only a “flaw”, a “wound”, a “screwed up part” that needs to be “fixed” or “resolved” (i.e. eliminated).
They just don’t know how to get along with each other yet, and work together instead of sabotaging each other. They’re probably operating like kids with very different personalities, each one trying to “grab the wheel” of your inner family and steer the whole thing towards what that one wants…which just makes the other kid(s) throw a blue-faced fit and grab the wheel in turn. You’re sort of an ongoing, low-grade, round-robin hostage drama, with you playing all the parts.
It’s also likely that one of the two-or-three main players on your inner stage has some distortion going on – a Prince/ss who is appearing like a Beast because it’s under the “spell” of rejection and fear from the other parts of you. None of us appear at our best when we’ve been hated and punished for decades, but just as in every myth, we only find the Prince/ss when we kiss the Beast. It takes guts and compassion and trust to turn towards the scary face, and believe in the loveliness underneath it.
So – what I do is introduce you to yourself in a whole new way, with the intent of setting up a Camp David environment in which every single part of you gets invited to the table for peace talks. Every part of you gets to speak, gets to be heard, and gets to have its needs recognized. We also start to figure out who’s a Prince/ss hiding underneath a Beast, and why that one has been “Beasted”, because the new, effective, cooperative program requires the Prince/ss to work.
Once we’ve got the main players identified, and de-Beasted (or at least clearly ID’ed and rehabilitation underway), we start negotiations. What will it take for everyone to get what s/he needs? What will establish greater trust and keep the fear “hijacking” from happening? How can we get everyone looking out for everyone, instead of everyone gunning for everyone?
You go out of our work with at least a plan for the new and better way, if not some serious practice and anchoring of that new way.
This is not fantasy or wishful thinking, I promise. This is what I do.
Part of how I do this so effectively is to start with some “maps” of your nature, so we don’t have to fill that in from scratch. The map is not the territory – no assessment or instrument is ever actually you, or a full picture of you – but it’s better than going in blind! It gives at least a basic idea of the mountains, the swamps, the forests, the deserts. It gives us a solid starting place, and then you yourself fill in all those specific details that we can work with.
My strongest “map” is the astrological birth chart. I’ve been studying and practicing psychological/archetypal astrology for over 30 years, and it’s a phenomenal tool for understanding the core elements of our own, specific personality. This is not the more typical predictive astrology – while I can and do look at the timing of your “cycles of growth”, I cannot tell you what’s going to happen in tangible terms. I also wouldn’t if I could, because I don’t think what happens is the most important thing – I think why it’s happening is what matters. Of course, we don’t have to use this particular map if you’d rather not!
I do use other instruments – those which I have a strong level of comfort with are:
The VIA Character Strengths Assessment here (free, or more detailed results for a price)
The Kolbe Index, an assessment of action style here – relatively expensive but if we work together I can offer a discount, and it’s fabulously helpful
The Enneagram – a free short test plus more detailed tests for a price here
I also use Gallup Strengths Finder, which is particularly helpful for workplace knowledge and issues, and a few other obscure systems.
I am open to information and results from any other system you’d like to fold into our work – just let me know!
Here’s more on what working with me looks like, including how to get in touch.