The highest level “how” questions are straightforward:
Whenever a conflict occurs between your Now and your Next, ask one or both of these questions:
One way to get at the answer to that question, might be through a sub-question,
“How can my Now enjoy the process of doing what is likely to get the result that my Next wants?”
The context is: “Your #1 job in life is to take care of yourself (which includes taking care of both your present and your future).”
Within this context, ask,
“In this circumstance, how could my selfishness and their selfishness dovetail together?”
But can your four parts really get on the same page? It may seem like there are always going to be conflicts that are irreconcilable.
The answer is “yes,” with a condition. As long as each part does not learn to show respect and consideration for what the other parts want, then you will continue to live at war within yourself. The first, and most essential step to creating integrity is to establish this mutual respect. Operationally, that translates into a mutual willingness and proactive priority of each of your parts to “sit down at the peace/partnership table” to create a win-win solution whenever a conflict occurs. This operational integrity must become your #1 priority in life.
A final fundamental question is, "Am I experiencing any of the following?"
feeling impatient with yourself or others
blaming or angry
lack of confidence
feeling that something is difficult
problems in making requests or saying “no”
issues with maintaining good boundaries with others
unwilling to share yourself more openly and with vulnerability
feeling guilty or regretful
trying to control others
feeling embarrassed jealousy or envy
If you answered any of the above with a "yes," then you are or may be resisting some fear. This is a form of being at war with yourself, another type of being out of integrity. You can use the undoing fear process, possibly followed by the other three steps of choosing courage in order be creating a deeper level of integrity.
04) Clarity about life’s priorities
Children copy us adults and learn from their peers
They learn that “it’s not cool” to just express everything. They learn what’s “good” (they’ll be praised for) and what’s “bad” (they’ll be blamed for). They learn to worry about the future. They learn to take control of all this internally, making sure they praise or blame themselves even before others can do it. They take up residence inside the HOGAB.
At ages five to seven, they learn to self-censor their verbal expressions. Before five years old, my step-son was fully self-expressed, with no censorship between what he thought and felt and what came out of his mouth and what showed up on his face. Then, step by step, by age seven, he became a mini-adult, a self-censoring machine. His natural happiness faded away.
There’s a different way
In fact, we adults and parents most often consider it our job to teach children the difference between good and bad, right and wrong. It is the rare parent who, when noticing their child has a conflict, sits down with that child (once the child can begin to bind time) and says, “I wonder if there might be a way to enjoy now and be happy at bedtime also? Do you have any ideas about that?” Or, if there is some conflict the child has with either the parent or someone else, the parent asks, “I want you to take care of yourself here. But I am also curious if we might find a way for both of us to be happy?
The source of all unhappiness
All internal conflicts, all unhappiness, are comprised of conflicts that arise from a resistance between your Now (being happy now) and your Next (being happy in the future) or a resistance between your Oneself (taking care of yourself) and your Others (taking care of others and looking good to others). These conflicts have arisen from the belief, the idea, that we have to choose one or the other (which gave rise to the old ethics: the belief in good and bad, right and wrong). This idea puts us at war within ourselves. It pits each person against him or herself having to choose now or choose the future, as well as having each of us wage a recurring battle between taking care of ourselves and taking care of others.
Each of your four parts has an important job to do
Your Now is responsible for being happy now.
Your Next is responsible for being happy in the future.
Your Oneself is responsible for me being happy and taking care of myself.
Your Others wants others to be happy and wants to take care of their needs also look good to others.
Yes, your four parts have different jobs and different responsibilities. And yes, conflicts can arise from each of their needs. But by being clear about the bigger picture (happiness for all, which means you will be happy) and asking the right questions when conflicts occur, the benefits of each can serve the benefits of all. By giving equal respect and consideration for what each part is trying to do for us, our integrity will blossom and a happiness that abides naturally will arise from this intention and cooperation.
The key tool is undoing resistance
Resistance is always resistance to fear (although that will not necessarily be obvious in some circumstances).
The way to undo this resistance is now clearer. We are finding ways to make friends with our fears, tapping into their energies and power. Our Now and our Next can both be happy and not pitted against each other. Our Oneself and our Others can both win. When we create mutual respect for each of our four distinct parts, we see that each has a unique and separate area of responsibility that can best be addressed when all are cooperating for mutual benefit.
We can now glimpse that path that leads us, step by step, into a state change so deeply foundational as to leave us unrecognizable from the way we were before. In this new world we are falling into the natural happiness that each of us was born into, and allowing our suffering to fade away, returning to our true home, the Garden of Eden.
Unresisting what is—an example:
I was coaching a client whose adult son had recently committed suicide. Her suffering was immense. The source of her suffering was the belief, “He shouldn’t have killed himself.” With inquiry she became aware that all of her suffering was caused by this belief. So we turned it around, into “He should have killed himself.” We looked for evidence that might support that new belief (that did not resist what was). For example, “My son was continuing to suffer and the only way out that he saw was by killing himself. Now he is no longer suffering.” As she came to let go of her resistance to “what is,” her suffering vanished.
The House of Good and Bad is glued and nailed together by the habit and motive of resistance. Consequently, the key to dismantling that house is to employ the Making Friends with Your Fear (Undoing Fear) process and to question the beliefs that the House of Righteousness relies on to stay standing.
“Don't fight forces, use them.”
-Buckminster Fuller (American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist, 1895-1983)
“What we resist persists.”
-Sonia Johnson (American feminist activist and writer, 1936-)