“All the World’s a Stage
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…”
So says the melancholic Jaques, as written by William Shakespeare in, “As You Like It.”
In my experience, what Shakespeare says here is true. I also know a deeper truth - that each of us HAS many parts at any one time in our lives – parts that all want to play a role. Often these ‘Parts’ are in conflict.
One of those parts has been my Inner Critic. Many therapists believe that, “Every behaviour has a positive intention.” The positive intention of this Part’s fierce criticism is to protect me from harm by nagging me into being a better person. It’s never worked. Instead, I have felt wretched.
Working with my therapist, Kim Searle, we’ve explored many of the ‘Parts’ that are present in my thoughts. There’s a Creative part of me, a Younger me, even a Future me – amongst many others. This is not multiple-personalities but rather a fascinating metaphor for exploring the many aspects of my single personality. When these parts appear to be in conflict, a therapist will seek a ‘Parts Integration’ to create wholeness and wellbeing.
Where there’s a Part of me that means well but goes about matters in an unproductive way, we ask it to cooperate with ‘Creative’ me to come up with a better way to get the outcome. Thus ‘Inner Critic’ has become ‘TruthSayer’! Now, when a critical thought arises, I address ‘TruthSayer’ in my imagination, and he demands of the thought, “Tell the truth!” You see, many of my inner critical thoughts are exaggerations or only one side to the story. TruthSayer helps me to find the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
Whatever mental magic Kim has helped me to perform has worked! TruthSayer has become a hero to my mind rather than a dreaded thought. I also call him LieSlayer! Like a knight in shining armour, he protects me from unfounded criticism and helps me learn from the many mistakes I continue to make. He protects me but in a pleasant and supportive way.
My hope is that this TruthSayer/LieSlayer story will encourage you to get your own Creative part working with less productive parts to produce better ways to get what they want. I will assert that I was ‘stuck’ and that I would not have had this first of many breakthroughs without professional guidance. There are many Kims out there who can help you and I if you feel conflicted and stuck too. In the meantime, if you have an Inner Critic, ask them if they’d like to explore new ways of protecting you… and if you want to adopt your own TruthSayer and LieSlayer, you are welcome to the titles for your own Parts!
Mind Magic or Mumbo Jumbo? This one thing I know, I feel better for it and I’d like that for you too.
A Moodscope member.