|June 12, 2006
Integrating Our Many Selves
Sum Of Our Parts
Human beings are multidimensional creatures. Our identity is made up of the sum total of our many traits and values and our character. Each of us possesses within us many different selves. There is the adult part of ourselves and the childlike spirit that resides in each one of us. There is our masculine side and our feminine side. There is the hard worker in us, the artist, the parent, and the caretaker. All of these selves combined form a well-rounded, complex person. Not all of these different aspects of who we are blend easily with each other, however, and some of them may even conflict with or oppose one another. When a person’s different parts clash, such as the self that is our childlike aspect and the self that is our responsible adult, we often end up compartmentalizing or suppressing one of these aspects to ease the conflict. While this may make us feel better in the short run, we would be better off finding a way for these two selves to coexist peacefully inside u! s.
Though some of our selves may be dominant while others rarely assert themselves, attempts to suppress one or more of these different aspects can leave us feeling that our identity has been splintered. Being able to successfully integrate our various selves can be as simple as accepting and embracing each one. It may also be necessary to reframe the way you see them. The immature self that you ridicule can become a valued and accepted part of you when redefined as your more playful aspect. Journaling can help you acknowledge and understand the different parts that make up your identity.
When your many selves blend together to form an integrated individual, you will feel changed. You will no longer feel pulled in multiple directions, and you will never again have to deny any part of yourself. You become a complete person-familiar and comfortable with the many selves that make up the person you are.