Before I begin my next series, I thought I would re-group by writing a summary of my Blog’s purpose. Consistent with the name The Faces we Live, the stories that I write are always about the myriad of roles/parts/sub-personalities and shadow sides that constitute the makeup of every human being. Values, beliefs, feelings, behaviors, roles all contribute to the overall makeup of an individual (not withstanding heredity and certain physical characteristics).
Of course, your parts will differ from mine, but the experience of having parts/roles is fundamental to human nature. No matter the topic or particular series, my intent is always to show examples of our different parts, often conflicting parts. I happen to be using myself and my own experiences as illustrations of how parts can be expressed in the real world because (1) I know myself better than anyone else. (2) It is my blog. I know that every part of myself that I disown, despise or refuse to acknowledge, will become hostile to myself and others thereby perpetuating misery like a cloud of aimless radiation blowing where it will. My hope is that these blog posts will facilitate another path to understanding the me that is me and the you that is you.
“Often we judge our faces to be either good or bad, right or wrong, while failing to recognize the potential of each of them to make us fuller, more balanced human beings.” Virginia Satir
My first five posts concentrated on explicit illustration of parts. I tried to show examples of interior parts such as the striver part, the inner critic or judge, the bumbler part, the anxious ridden overeater, the part that slides into shame or embarrassment, and parts that want to lash out or project onto others.
My second series focused on femininity. How women who chose to wear makeup experience women who don’t wear makeup and vice versa. However, it was simply another way of illustrating parts and how parts can behave in our culture−for that matter, in every culture. All cultures have a particular set of behaviors, standards and/or beliefs. If you don’t believe me, just try living outside of the norms and see how fast you are ostracized or deemed crazy.
My next blog series is about my journey through protracted cancer treatment. The prospect of death evoked every aspect of my personality, from my most mystical spiritual side to my “sins” of vanity, gluttony, greed (all parts). Death was the consummate challenger of self examination.
The range of what we think and do
is limited by what we fail to notice.
And because we fail to notice
that we fail to notice
there is little we can do
until we notice
how failing to notice
shapes our thoughts and deeds. R.D. Laing
To the degree that each of us is willing to claim our “inner barbarians” with some degree of self-acceptance and compassion, to that exact degree we will stop projecting onto our “enemies”. I want peace on earth and truly it MUST begin with me.
“One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils are on the other.” Saul Alinsky
Please, please let us look at the “devil” within. For it is not our shadow (devil) that is intrinsically evil but rather the refusal to acknowledge our shadow that contributes to the collective evil manifested outwardly in prejudice, jealousies, greed and wars.