A blog about PARTS THERAPY
Tesco’s have the most delightful Daffodils, they’re only a pound. I like to put them in an old tin Maple Syrup tin, it’s just the right size – Their stems are so easy to snip, I add a few sticks of cinnamon, then squeeze a few sprigs of lavender around the edges, little dried out purple buds peering clumsily over the side, and there you have it, an odd little concoction, just like me.
The other morning, while curling my hair for the gym, it came to my attention that I am a bit of an antithesis. I’m on a journey which embodies the coming together of disparate ‘things’ and somehow learning to live with their ‘oneness’. THIS IS MY PHILOSOPHICAL SELF who can observe and inhabit my experiences and can think and write about them.
I grew up in Hackney and at the tender age of 9 our family moved ‘up’ to Hampstead, I swear we were the only black family in our neighbourhood at the time – a journey from a dump in Hackney where my mates were Kelly, Sharon and Monique, to a 5 bed 5 bath in Hampstead where my mates were now Eleanor, Sophie and Isabel and my mum is telling me to stop saying ‘mates’.
I’d get mixed up and feel inadequate and isolated – too black with my white friends and too white with my black ones. This is my IDENTITY SELF
And then there’s the MOTHERLESS CHILD SELF, turned inwards, lonely and living in an un-fillable hole; here I miss my mum who died two weeks before my 18th birthday. I try to make friends with the peace underneath my tears, it tells me that if she were here she would hold me tight, because my skin is so thin and sometimes it tears and I get little holes in it.
THIS IS MY RESCUING SELF, She tells me that Mum would patch up all my little holes, if Cancer hadn’t shredded her into tiny bits and swept her away like an evil dust pan and brush.
When such memories hold sway, I want to sleep really late, read Dostoevsky and watch the E channel in my PJ’s. And I don’t want to brush my teeth or shower, or smile, ever, ever again. This is my HOPELESS SELF. In this place there is no hope. Everything is pointless.
But On the inside though something is SO strong. The grace upon my life means during my worst times something in me rises up like a surfers dream wave; it is awesome and determined and makes a forest fire out of my pain, tearing it all down. Leaving only ashes.
This is my God. Id be nothing without him. THIS IS MY BEST SELF transcending all my other selves.
When I arrive here, to this sacred pace, I know I am loved, and I know I am strong, I am fearless and unstoppable.
Much like any seasoned actress, I have many selves, some I inhabit voluntarily, some invade me. Each one painfully or joyfully sculpted out of something I’ve lived.
I’ve spent my whole life trying to negotiate these ‘selves’ – disowning one, wrestling with the other, despising this bit, celebrating that, hiding the other – and like a gang of unruly children, one has to find a way to let them all have their turn – a turn to be heard, a turn to be silenced, a turn to be loved, a turn to ‘be’.
It is possible and necessary to bring the disparate parts of ourselves into congruence. Internal cohesion to some degree is essential for inner peace.
Say this out loud; I will accept the different parts of myself. I will see them as my children; who fight me, who defend me, who challenge me, who protect me, and who at times embarrass me – but they belong to me. So I’m just going to have to learn to live with them.
Today, with the help of my God and the important people I have internalised along the way. I can truly say that I love every single part of me ‘In sickness and in health’. After a long and difficult process, I have finally learned how to accept – the daffodils the cinnamon and the lavender in me.
Is it time you did too?.
“One of the biggest reasons that we do not achieve our goals in life (or in therapy) is because we have unresolved conflicts between different parts of ourselves”.
Dr Arielle Schwartz
Lookout for my Webinar on Parts Therapy – Coming SOON!