I have been discovering and learning about my inner landscape for a while now. And I have learned some key aspects to this process of recovery that must be understood.
If they are not understood, we will not be able to accept this work. As a matter of a fact, we will be miserable. What are those facts?
- Your understanding of your narrative is going to shift constantly.
- Your understanding of self is going to shift constantly.
- There is no definitive truth. Nothing is as it seems.
- As you change, people will think you are crazy.
- The changes will drive you crazy.
When I started my blog, I understood this on an intuitive level. I may have even understood it on a conscious level but hoped I was wrong. I knew the information I would be providing might shift and change over time. And it definitely has. My own personal journey has constantly informed my writings and my work with clients. With all that said, my revelation this morning should come as no surprise. But of course, it does.
For the past few months, I have been discovering new parts. This isn’t surprising. I discover new parts, new beliefs, new memories, and new buried emotions all the time. I am an excavator. It is what I do. I embrace curiosity so much that if I was a cat, I would be dead. But when I woke up this morning, I had a word in my head and it was screaming at me.
It wasn’t the new label for a new part. A while back, I met a part and gave her that name on a temporary basis, but I it didn’t seem right. This morning, I realized that it was the label for a new TYPE of part. I have always described my inner landscape as comprised of the inner defender and the inner child. These types of parts include many diverse parts within them, but they were the only types. Most of the inner battles involved a defender and a child or two defenders. That was that. I was done with types.
But recently, I have uncovered four new parts who didn’t seem to fit the mold. They were older than the inner children and seemed like defenders by nature. But they weren’t trying to oppress the system, or stay safe and small. Their goal was freedom. And they would take it however they could get it. And honestly, they did … often.
These fighters were willing to try anything. To escape the internal oppressors, they were willing to embrace vices like drugs and sex. In order to escape external oppressors, they were willing to isolate or run. But they did this for a different purpose than the defenders. They weren’t doing this to avoid life. They were doing this to live life.
I now believe my freedom fighters have taken me on many trips (the drug and travel kind) and through many passionate experiences (in relationship and greater purpose). They have gone out of their way to ensure the controller would never let things get too boring. And this was not for distraction purposes. This was for living purposes.
And I have just now been introduced to a new freedom fighter. She has one main goal in life and that is to avoid commitment of any kind. If life were up to her, she would live out of a car (which might even be too much of a commitment). She would travel the world, meet people for a day or two, and make her money on the fly. She would never buy a house, have children, run a business or find a permanent partner. She wouldn’t even have a pet. She is about the moment. And she doesn’t want that moment to own her.
While I have dreamed about a life like this before (now I know why), it is not who I am. I can be loyal to a fault. I am of course committed to my kids, pets, friends and business. I would never walk away from any of it, even when the boredom sets in and tells me it’s just another day like the last one. To this new inner part, it is not freedom, but this part is wrong. These commitments have not been forced on me. I chose them. And I have the power to make changes (within reason). That is what makes these commitments different than those in childhood. I didn’t choose those things. They were chosen for me.
Of course, convincing this part that we can commit and be free is going to take some work. I can tell she’s almost as fiery as my mean kid and that is saying something. But I can tell she will bring some excitement to life. She has ideas and if I can meld those ideas together with the commitments I want to make, anything is possible. And maybe that is what she is teaching me. Anything is possible … when we are free.
Written By Elisabeth Corey, MSW