The War Within

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“Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?” NSR: 4 James 4:1

James “war within” can be referred to as multiplicity of mind in the IFS model meaning that we each carry different memories, diverse values and beliefs which are expressed through unique wants and needs. Oftentimes these internal aspects are in conflict with each other. For example, we may despise our boss but also crave his/her approval. Bank and forth, back and forth our mind go’s between feelings of scorn and the need for recognition evoking sleepless nights and frustration with our thoughts and our needs.

Consistent with my blog, The Faces we Live, the stories that I write are about the myriad of roles/parts/sub-personalities or shadow sides that constitute the makeup of beings. Values, beliefs, feelings, behaviors, roles all contribute to the overall makeup of an individual.

Those parts of me that I wish to 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.

To the degree that I am willing to acknowledge my “inner cravings” with some degree of self-acceptance and compassion, to that exact degree I can stop projecting my internal conflicts onto others.

For example, I have a striver part that gets so focused on its’ goal that I often put the end result before relationships. I love my striver part but not when it drives me like a tornado vs. me driving it when appropriate.

I also have a critic part that can judge myself and others quit harshly. By accepting that I have this part, I can recognize it, calm it down and use its discerning wisdom vs. harsh judging.

I have a bumbling part that is an absolute mess (can’t spell, mispronounces words, gets scarred out of its wits going through airport security, fearing getting ‘felt up’ as my prostheses sets off the alarm after which I start stuttering and dropping things all over the place). Sheeese, what a mess!

I have tried everything to “fix” this part. Now I simply accept it as an aspect of my makeup. Amidst that acceptance, I’m no longer embarrassed that I can’t remember which side of the dinner plate the fork belongs.

The more I have learned to accept myself, warts and all, the more I have come to tremendous compassion for others, “warts and all”.


Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe at


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Saved by solitude and the old horse Dolly