Who's your best friend?
Are you friends with ALL of yourself?
I used to have an interesting (but painful) drama that plagued my life.
Let’s call Dwight #1 “Mr. Ambitious.”
Let’s call Dwight #2 “Mr. Spontaneous.”
Part of the time, Mr. Ambitious would be in control of my life.
He would say, “Look at all we could do! Look at all we could accomplish! Look at all we could become! No moment should be wasted! Onward, upward, always striving! I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
Other times, Mr. Spontaneous would take control of my life.
He would say, “Let’s do what we want now! Let's be comfortable. What difference will it make anyway to always accomplish, accomplish, accomplish!? Relax. Enjoy. Sleep. Eat. Watch TV. Talk with friends. Read a good book. Go to a movie. Have sex! The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.”
The civil war
Mr. Ambitious held the high moral ground. He had good PR and he knew his position looked very good. He knew how to make me feel guilty for the actions of Mr. Spontaneous.
But, when Mr. Spontaneous dug his heels in, no matter the guilt, he was the one who had the power. No matter what Mr. Ambitious said, Mr. Spontaneous could override him.
For years and years, perhaps we could call it “the 40-year war," these two sides would wage skirmish after skirmish, neither one ever truly winning, and both sides losing in many, many ways.
Ending the civil war
The peace between Mr. Ambitious and Mr. Spontaneous came only when each side was willing to admit the important contributions that the other side was trying to make, and was making, in my life.
The peace came only after Mr. Ambitious began to support Mr. Spontaneous in his desires and concerns and Mr. Spontaneous began to support Mr. Ambitious in his goals and commitments.
The peace came only when they both looked at the bigger picture of putting process and lifestyle first, working together to accommodated both of their desires.
Are you sometimes at war with yourself? Is there any part of yourself that you consider bad, that you consider lazy, that you consider irresponsible, that you consider rebellious, that you consider weak, that you consider to be bad or immoral?
Begin to ask yourself, “How is this part of me trying to do something important for my life?”
How can I begin to honor and pay attention to the important intentions of my Mr. or Ms. Spontaneous?
I invite you to make peace with yourself, by beginning to honor all parts of yourself.
Can you feel the fear associated with each side beginning to acknowledge the important benefits that the other side is trying to provide to you?
Choose the courage to step into this fear, again and again, so that you can create the new peace and joy of a person who's friends with all parts of himself or herself.
Check out the NNI toolkit.
"When you say you will or won’t do something, do you notice parts of you never got the message?"
"I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I have ever met!"
-Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899, American evangelist)
"As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American writer and philosopher)
"A human being’s first responsibility is to shake hands with himself."
-Henry Winkler (1945- , American actor)