July 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm #61264ShannonParticipant
I have a fundamental problem in my life, I think I know where it comes from, but I have no idea how to handle the problem. You see, my mind is divided into two “beings” that constantly are in conflict, that cannot coexist in harmony, and I need guidance on how to bring these forces together and find balance. I’ll explain it:
My mind is dominated by two forces. The first one is the creative, chaotic and sensitive force. It reacts strongly on stimula and bring my body into states of strong and intense feelings. There are no “little”, “moderate” or “limited” modes of this force. It’s either euphoria, rage, panic, or desperation… It’s wild, impulsive and unlimited, once set free.
The second force is a structurized, cold, non-feeling, logic, systematic and calm one. It feels like the structurized me is trying to control the chaotic monster by keeping him behind a fence. This pisses the chaotic monster off and feeds the strength of his rage once he finds a way to escape. Now, I can only keep him locked-up as long as I am stable. If I get criticized, if I find that I fail within something I have fought a lot for, or if I by other means have to expose weakness, the fence weakens and give the monster an opportunity to escape.
As an effect of the conflict between the chaotic and organized parts of me, I have been depressed, I’ve had rage and panic attacks, I also have a tremendous need of maintaining control and not showing feelings. I’ve been self-destructive, I lack confidence and avoid social interaction because I don’t want people to get to know me too deeply. I’m afraid I might hurt people. I am also worried that I might never be able to develope a long-term relationship, and that I will fail in my career because my inner conflict is preventing me from living out my rightful potential. I experience this conflict is a serious threat towards my mental health and success in life.
I need help to understand how I can let these two parts of me to coexist in harmony. How I can pick the strength from both of the sides and manage the negatives so that they cease to be an ungrippable problem. Anyone that’s got any ideas on how to start?July 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm #61267MattParticipant
I’m sorry for your suffering, and can understand how sometimes when we are a very passionate person, its difficult to find temperance. We can become scared of our emotions, seeing the havoc they seem to cause when blurting, and so our mind works to suppress our feelings, action, motion. Choppy waters indeed! A few things came to heart as I read your words.
First, its time for both sides to put down their weapons and learn to get along. Accept the conflicts for what they were, and put away blame or shame, and let both sides throw their hands up together and say “OK, what in the world is going on here?”
Consider that we are all yin and yang… fertile and creative, cosmic and organic, enlightened and feral, mental and emotional. These forces work in harmony, balance out our energy, path. Too much mind, the world becomes tasteless, empty. Too much heart, and our world becomes listless, aimless, run by cravings.
The secret to balancing these energies (basically) is to offer them both the space they need. We can do this by self nurturing, or spending time letting the body and mind both unwind, relax, find peace. Consider starting a metta meditation practice. Metta is the feeling of warm friendship we have in the chest, and will help the pressure relieve from your experiences. As we wish for happiness for self and others, our mind becomes smooth, peaceful, and develops concentration quickly. This helps the mind stay open while experiencing emotions. Also, spending time in the warmth of metta may help your body remember, become more rooted in loving feelings, keeping your inner light strong. Consider Sharon Salzburg guided metta meditation” on youtube, if interested. Even a few times for a week should see many of the swords turn to plowshares.
Finally, my teacher noted how when we have uncomfortable feelings we are processing, its normal to try to shut them out, cower, attack, suppress. This is like trying to close the door on a strong wind, and we use up our precious strength in struggle. If we let go of the front door, and open the back door, it just whistles through, and often clears tons of dust along the way.
To do this, consider an analogy. When we have uncomfortable feelings, they’re tied to an attached thought, which continues to drink from a well. Start thinking about a lion, for instance, really thinking about it, and the body becomes agitated, fight or flight mode. If we don’t think about a lion, the body relaxes, finds a harmony with what is really there. What we can learn to do is simply not drink from the well. Instead of cycling through “the world” such as atlas, carrying a burden, all those emotional eruptions, all that inner fighting, etc., Emma can sit down, in the world, right where she is, and just breathe. Emotions settle, thoughts settle as we bring our attention to the breath, setting down the past, future, accept the wildness or emotion calms, and its done. No more Atlas, just Emma, looking around with wakefulness, what a beauty!
Namaste, sister, may your passionate spirit find balance, peace.
MattJuly 20, 2014 at 3:48 am #61282Warrior of LightParticipant
I would recommend talking with both of these parts and get to know them. I know it might sound strange, but it seems both parts most definitely have something to say. The practice aligns with Gestalt using Empty Chair Technique as a means to have a dialogue between parts.
1) While you don’t wholly need it, set up 2 chairs, cushions, etc set up; setting one directly across from the other will be helpful in starting this practice.
2) Decide who is going to speak 1st – you or the part you want to communicate with.
3) I would recommend starting as YOU. Ask your selected part some questions: Who are you? What do you want? What are you trying to tell me? How are you protecting me and what are you protecting me from?
4) Now you switch places and answer those questions from the voice of your PART. ***Pay attention to what you are feelings as you switch roles***
5) Go back-and-forth between YOU and the PART, switching places between the parts, as if you are having an actual conversation.
Now keep in mind Gestalt is a form of therapy. I’ve done it and have been trained in it, and it’s a VERY potent modality to use, so please use with caution. You may want to seek a professional trained in this modality as well.
Peace and love.
WestonJuly 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm #61315ShannonParticipant
You put the matter into angles that I’ve never thought of, not at least when using the metaphore of Atlas. Yes, it’s very true that I imagine that I alone can carry my own burdens on my shoulders – along with other people’s burdens as well. I never asked for help – until now. Or at least, I ask for wider perspectives than I myself manage to produce. Alternative ways of thinking, leading me away from my squirrel wheel of habitual acting. Thank you, you are a bright star of inspiration!
I will definitely scedule the metta meditation, every second day for two weeks and then evaluate the effect. I already keep a ”mind diary”, where I write down the processing of my thoughts about the situation. It makes wonders to actually write down your forthgoing analyze of what’s going on. It’s easier to remember what ideas you have gotten that way, and help you develope the analyzes as you get a deeper understanding of the underlying reasons of your outer reactions.
As you can see, this is my systematic part trying to organize the work on understanding the emotional part. Though, I am still only at the understanding-what’s-going-on-state. I presume the next step will be to actually start investigate how these two can cooperate.
Your method sounds… unusual and interesting. I will definitely try it, starting tonight! An faschinating act, to actually give ”physical life” to the two forces/beings/parts, allowing them both to say what’s on their hearts. It’s like giving two states of mind the same authority and showing them the same respect as you would to concious organisms. As if each of them actually had a will of their own. Interesting perspective indeed. Thank you for the input!