Photo of J'aime ona Pangaia

Preview of Chapter 25 from
An Introduction to Voice Dialogue:
Finding the Benefit of People Who Bug You

"Our Inner Selves"

by J'aime ona Pangaia
Copyright 2013


Earlier I mentioned the patterns of the human psyche called the ‘archetypes’. As a human being, we inherit these patterns of being from life as a whole. While we inherit the basic patterns, they also become individualized from our own unique experiences. These archetypes are not people, they are patterns that affect psyche and nature. You might think of them as being somewhat akin to the pattern that iron filings take while in the presence of a magnetic field. In this example, the magnetic field is the archetype and the iron filings are representing the presence and influence of this field. The archetypes are fields that affect energy, whether it is physical energy (matter) or psychic energy (selves). The inner selves can be seen as our personalized, regional experience of archetypal energies that in themselves, have no ultimate expression.
As we take a brief look at some common inner selves, keep in mind this energetic nature of them. Each of these selves has a unique energetic feeling to them, they have idiosyncratic ways of expressing in your body and gestures, they hold a core belief about or experience towards life and have a unique ‘feeling tone’. Some of these may be primary selves for you, others may be disowned. You’ll get a sense of this by your reaction to them upon reading about them.
“The Primary Selves are the primary patterns of behavior, thoughts and emotional response that we are identified with at any particular time in our life. All of us are identified with our primary selves until we begin the process of separating from them. There is no escaping this reality, not for any of us.” ~ Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone
Child
There are parts of us that are children, no matter how old we become. They will never grow up and they represent a particular spectrum of inner selves. One thing in common with all the Child archetypes, is that they more purely experience vulnerability and instinctual power. They acutely sense and feel whether our Needs are safe and well met or not. When our Needs are well met, the Inner Child selves could be described as playful, trusting, curious, peaceful, filled with wonder and feeling safe and secure.
When our Needs are not being met, our Inner Children are the first parts of us to know. Now those childlike parts of us feel needy and fearful or demanding and angry. It is helpful to consider the Child archetype in terms of a number of child selves: Fearful, Needy, Playful, Trusting, Magical, Shy, Vulnerable, etc. Each of these inner selves then, when noticed, have a particular way of being felt.
As I mentioned above, although our inner child system are often experienced in terms of vulnerability (directly sensing the state of our Needs), there are Child selves who express themselves with real power.
Instinctual Selves, Psychologically
When experiencing the fear or pain of unmet Needs, we have a set of basic instinctual responses, as physical human creatures to help us protect / fulfill ourselves: fight, flight, freeze and fake. These are powerful responses to crisis level experiences of loss or danger. These responses are triggered via the autonomic nervous system, meaning, they don’t initially involve thought, in fact they often completely overwhelm thought. It is built into our biology and when we actually were children, these instinctual responses were our powers of first resort.
Here, the power is not based on individually learned responses and beliefs, it comes from what all creatures have ‘learned’ biologically over millennia about protecting and preserving ourselves. Instinct is essentially about survival. Our instinct fights to establish and protect a boundary to maintain our existence, it flees to establish boundary through distancing. It freezes or fakes to confuse predators, competitors or aggressors. The ‘fight’ response, expressed psychologically from an inner Child is experienced as anger - rage even. This anger is pure power asserting our existence and dissatisfaction with our conditions. Its purpose is meant to activate change to protect the organism (biological or psychological).
Flight is meant to remove us from whatever is threatening us. When our vulnerability is threatened enough, this is the response to withdraw. We leave the person, we leave the room, we leave the group, we leave the situation. As a child, you may not have always had the freedom to actually physically remove yourself from a threatening situation. Nevertheless, the instinct is expressed. When you couldn’t actually flee physically, psychologically you still went away; you disassociated. It may have been a temporary disassociation for a temporary threat, or, if the threat was stable, the pattern of disassociation likewise became stable.
Psychologically expressed, freeze is the experience of going blank. The mind freezes, the emotions stop, you present an image of no-threat, of nothingness. Without meaning to, you roll over like a possum and play dead. Like the dog that stops barking at the ‘dead’ possum, your verbal attacker stops barking at you – there’s no one to engage with anymore. Freeze is also the ability to ‘be invisible’. You’re right there, but nobody notices you, no one picks on you. Think of when you were in grade school and you didn’t want the teacher to pick on you – you went ‘invisible’. Or if you had an out of control parent, maybe you were the child in the family that instinctively went invisible so you wouldn’t get attacked.
Fake is that capacity to fool others about what’s going on with you. Like a cat whose hackles raise (I’m afraid, but I’m going to make myself look bigger so maybe you’ll be afraid of me instead) or an insect that masquerades as another species (I’m not edible, or I’m harmless), or a chameleon that changes its color (I’m something else), the ability to change how you appear to others is method of survival that we also instinctively employ psychologically. Lying, power dressing, affectation, manners, double entendres, are just a few examples of faking out others.
Rule Keeper
One of the first inner selves to develop is one who might be called a Rule Keeper. (As I continue, you might recognize that you have your own nicknames for these inner selves.) This is the part of you who perceives and records the rules of your world. It is the part of you that attempts to make order out of the mystery and chaos into which you were born. It seeks to answer the question, “What is the world, and what does it require of me?”
The Principles of Nature: Order, Knowable underlie this self. Before you ever had any words, the Rule keeper was sensing and learning the rules in your very bones! The Rule Keeper feels oriented to reality because of having rules, and is therefore safe in reality because it believes it knows the way the game of life works. Once it has assessed a rule through some kind of experience, it rarely abandons a rule, unless confronting with overwhelming contrary evidence. The Rule Keeper is also capable of keeping ever more refined levels to the rules, and of holding conflicting rules. For example, if you have a rule that says you should be honest at all times and you have another rule that says don’t intentionally hurt peoples feelings, the Rule Keeper just knows those rules but can’t change them.
The Rule Keeper is the part of you who holds beliefs about how you should be. It is a very important inner self to become conscious of since it has the rules for which other selves you should be and who you should disown. Very early in life, it’s assessing rules for basic survival and safety, later, as we acquire language, it also focuses on rules that will help you feel your family kinship, or if that’s too dysfunctional for security’s sake, other groups to belong to. As we mature, we can start to individuate from our family system’s rules, and later, larger systems, such as religious and cultural rules. Individuation doesn’t mean that we reject them automatically. What we can do is begin to become conscious of them as rules of a group and start to ask ourselves “What actually fits me?’.
The Pleaser
Another early archetypal self to form is called the Inner Pleaser. It appeared as you gradually learned the rules of what it took to get others to attend to your needs; it is the part of you who strives to meet those apparent needs of others. Pleasing others, to this inner self, intrinsically feels good and satisfying because ultimately, this is a way to continue surviving/ thriving.
For example, as I demonstrated earlier, an infant might learn which kind of crying gets him the attention he needs and which kind doesn’t compel others to fulfill his needs, or may even bring harm. If we were to put words to this energetic process, it would go like this. “If you like this kind of sound I make when I cry, instead of that kind of sound, I’ll make the sound you like because then you take care of my needs.” Your Inner Pleaser is the result of learning that satisfying the needs and expectations of other people will lead them to attend to some basic needs of yours, such as the basic physical needs that Maslow describes and the Principle of Nature: Union.
The Inner Pleasers’ philosophy statements might be: “One hand washes the other.” “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” “Think of others before you think of yourself.” “ I just want everyone to be happy.” It acts from the belief that “When I am pleasing to others, they approve of me, want me and are likely to treat me well in return.”
The worst fears this part of us has are fears of rejection or abandonment or harm against us.
Case example
Single and 23 years old Samantha has a big primary Inner Pleaser self. She goes out of her way to make sure that people know that she cares about them. She remembers all her family and friends’ birthdays with a card or call. When she’s out shopping, she often finds things that she thinks “Oh, this is perfect for so and so” and she’ll buy it for them if she can. She’s attuned to how what she says to others might be received by them and is careful not to hurt or offend other people’s feelings. She makes such good eye contact when engaging with another person, that the person who is talking feels completely listened and attended to.
Samantha can’t tolerate someone feeling left out, rejected, hurt or misunderstood. She’ll go out of her way to include everyone, even people she doesn’t particularly like. When Samantha gets asked out on dates, she has a hard time saying no when she’s not attracted to the person because she doesn’t want to hurt his or her feelings. She doesn’t want to hurt their feelings. When friends ask her for favors, they know they can count on her and her Inner Pleaser likes it that they reach out to her. She almost always finds a way to be helpful when asked for favors, even if it’s inconvenient. She feels wanted and accepted. She can very well imagine just how awful it would be to need a favor from someone and how it would be if no one was willing to step up for her. What her Inner Pleaser can’t do is say no and disappoint, and it can’t disconnect.
Self-Attender
At the same time that we have a Pleaser self whose function is to take care of others, the opposite psychological energy, “Take care of myself” exists in us. It supports the Principle of Nature: Autonomy.
This archetypal part seeks to take care of you, to primarily attend to your own needs for self-preservation, expression, nourishment and satisfaction. This is your ‘Self Attending” self and it is the part of you that might be negatively judged as selfish. The Self Attender operates to preserve a primary internal connection to the roots of your own safety, your own emotions, physical wellbeing, inclinations, inspirations and desires. It’s worst fear is to be invaded by others, to be robbed of your internal touchstone by being overwhelmed by the needs and experiences of others. Whereas the Pleasers’ main concern is preserving a sense of ‘ours” and “we”, the Self-Attender is concerned with preserving a primary orientation to what is “mine” and to “me”. What your Self-Attender can’t do is sacrifice your individual process for the sake of a joint process, or the needs and desires of another.
Case example
Roberta is a successful 40-year old acupuncturist. She likes to do things her way, so she’s self-employed. This means she has control over her hours of operation and she uses this advantage to build in a lot of time for self-care: massage, hiking and her yoga and meditation practices. She had gone to college on the other side of the country and never moved back when she finished. While she misses seeing her family, she secretly feels relieved that she doesn’t have to be involved in all the day to day issues of her various family members; she’s quite content just visiting them over holidays or special events. She’s also the one in the family that everyone recognizes can decide not to come home for the holidays if she isn’t up to it. Best of all, she doesn’t feel guilty, just annoyed if anyone tries to pressure her.
Roberta got married in her mid- 30’s to a man that respects and shares her need for autonomy. When they got married, they decided to keep their financial holdings separate and jointly pay into a household account for all shared expenses. That way, they wouldn’t feel they needed to ask for permission from each other on personal expenditures nor would either of them feel dependent on the other. That’s a big thing that Roberta just can’t do – allow herself to surrender to the needs, feelings, desires or perspectives of another person.
Pusher
This is the part of us that is in service to the Principle of Nature: Movement. It keeps us on the move, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. It keeps us busy, always pushing us forth. Its purpose is to keep us in momentum. It’s the part of us that makes lists of things to do, has stacks of books ready to be read, emails to be sent, goals to be realized and makes plans to be enacted. It’s your doing self as opposed to a being self.
It’s the part of you that is action oriented. It might express itself in your jiggling foot during a long sitting meeting, or the sense of restlessness when you have to unexpectedly wait for something. Your pusher begins to think of all the things you could be accomplishing right now instead of just standing in a long line at the bank. Your pusher is that part of you that gets impatient when you’re stuck behind a slower driver or has to listen to someone’s meandering speaking style when you just want them to get to the point. The Pusher always has its eyes towards the future, the next thing coming. That’s its signature word: “Next!”
The Pusher in us is also the consummate Multi-Tasker, which brings it great pleasure: doing as many things simultaneously as possible.
Case example
Joe, 37 and married with 2 children, has a strong Inner Pusher. He’s often late for appointments because he’s always trying to squeeze in one more thing before he leaves. He’s working on his second doctorate while continuing to work because he’s convinced he needs more credentials to equip himself for a successful career. He gets up at 5 am every day to get in 45 minutes of running, check his email and read the news before he goes to work. He loves his Blackberry for helping him stay on top of things. When he gets home from work, he has reading or papers to write for school. He tries to keep up with current technology so he ‘doesn’t fall behind the times.”
He also makes sure his kids are developing themselves, so he’s arranged them to be in sports and studying a musical instrument. He goes to their games and performances whenever he can. Because life is so busy, he and his wife don’t have a lot of everyday quality time, so they plan a fun get away every 3 months with the kids to do something fun. They make sure they plan lots of activities for their trips so that they don’t waste any of their time together. Unfortunately, sometimes he gets too busy and he has to either ‘postpone’ them, or bring work along with him. He gets strong head aches on a regular basis, but he just takes pain relievers so that they won’t stop him. That’s the one thing Joe can’t do: stop, come to rest.
The Protector
This is a part of us who developed very early to take care of us. It primarily uses the instinctual energies to do so. It relates primarily to Maslows’ Needs of basic survival and safety from danger. For some people, they experience as a powerful, wild animal – their inner jungle beast. One man I knew described his Protector as “a junk yard dog’ who prowls the fence line and can tear anyone apart who steps over his boundary. One woman described her Protector as a ‘mother bear.”
Everyone’s Protector is different. It may show up as an animal, but it might also be that part that just puts up an invincible wall for you. Or it helps you hide and be invisible. Its main purpose is to make every effort possible to prevent you from being hurt, violated or taken advantage of. It has an uncanny ability to read other people’s energies and its’ motto might be something like “Better safe than sorry.”
For some people, they have memories of their distrustful protector being there before they could even talk. For other people, it came more strongly into their life when they started school and had to start interacting with a lot more people, some of them who were unsafe.
For everyone, it’s a tremendous relief the first time they consciously encounter their Inner Protector and realize that it’s been there all along doing it’s best to keep them safe.
Case example
Bill is a police officer in his 40’s and he is married with 3 children. At home and at his place of worship, everyone knows Bill as a ‘real nice guy’ who would never hurt a fly. When Bill goes out to work though, he let’s another part of himself take over – his Inner Protector. Out there on the job, he sees the world as divided between criminals and innocent victims. His job is to be protecting the innocents while looking for the criminals. On the job, he is always alert to all the people who are around him. Even in the coffee shop during a break, he’s constantly scanning for any suspicious behavior and his own energy is closed and wary. His work partners tell him he should lighten up, but he feels that would be just foolishness. He drinks a lot of coffee and he carries a lot of tension in his neck and shoulders. His Inner Protector likes coffee since it keeps him alert and somewhat jumpy. The last thing his Inner Protector will let him do is relax and trust.
At home, he’s considered a soft touch and as a consequence he’s always helping other people out, volunteering his time and lending money to family members who ask, even if it puts him in a tight financial spot. At home, his Inner Protector isn’t allowed any room, since he has strong unspoken (and unconscious) rules about how he should be at home as a husband, father and member of his religious community. He has had trouble going to sleep lately, being kept up at night while his Inner Protector ruminates about how he should have better boundaries at home.
Perfectionist
This is the part of us that wants to get things exactly right. It tends to orient to the Principles of Nature: Order and Control. It’s the part of us that has, and attempts to manifest exact and ideal standards.
Some people developed this part primarily as a way to keep safe from danger, if they had a critical or punishing parent who was a perfectionist with those rules and standards. In those cases, doing things perfectly meant you didn’t get punished. Or, maybe, it came from being in a household (or larger environment – a country even) that was so chaotic and unpredictable, that focusing on doing things perfectly felt like a way to gain control in an uncontrolled world. It’s also that part of us that loves the beauty of order and harmony: pitch-perfect notes, color balancing, clean lines, alignment of form, exactness.
Case example
Bob grew up in a strict religious household and community where there was no tolerance for breaking the rules. His father was the absolute head of the house and he expected complete obedience. Bob grew up with the belief system that failure to uphold the religious and family precepts was a sin, punishable not only by his father (harsh physical punishments for even the slightest infraction of the rules) but more importantly, punishable by God in the afterlife. Bob grew up anxious that his mistakes could lead him to eternal damnation. As the oldest son, he was told that he was to set an example for his younger brothers and sisters; he felt responsible for their afterlife as well. Today, Bob leads a well-ordered life. He’s a member of his church’s choir and takes great delight in those special moments when all the choir voices blend in perfect harmony.
Spiritual Guide Voice
There is a Spiritual Guide Self who takes the values of our most primary selves to a ‘higher level.’ This is the part of us who can read the Bible, the Koran, Old Testament, Bhagavad Gita, etc, and see its own values proved in it. This part of us feels that it speaks for spiritual Truth; aligning with our Higher Self, or God, Universal Wisdom, the Creator. Like our other parts, it has a perspective to the exclusion of its opposite. One perspective is ‘right’ and the other is ‘wrong’. It sees life in terms of its own truths, which is perceives with a capital T.
It may also appear as a Transpersonal Voice who rises above the fray of selves and opposites. When we’re in this voice, we feel that we have transcended the lower energies and are operating at a higher level. What reveals this to still be a self is that is has the same agenda as all the other selves – to be ‘you’ to the exclusion of any other self. From here, you cannot engage in instinctual earth energies.
Case example
Brenda, a 50 years old former Catholic, has been on a New Age spiritual path for the past 25 years. She has followed a number of acclaimed spiritual teachers who she felt were enlightened and might be able to help her evolve beyond her own negative impulses. For a while, she was a follower of a well know psychic channel who seemed to give people advice from a non-physical entity who had inside knowledge of people’s karmic and spiritual needs. She has even tried channeling herself and sometimes feels that she is able to tune into a higher source of loving wisdom and guidance. Her ardent wish is that she could fully become this energy and no longer have to feel fear, anxiety, jealousy or anger.
Responsible Self
This part of us believes in personal accountability. Some of the needs or principles it supports are order, physiological needs, safety, belonging, control, and for some, movement (doing). The Responsible Self sees being accountable as being fair and keeping us on a moral foundation. This is the part of us that would say, “I keep my word; if I said I will do something, you can count on me.” This is the part of us that believes in honesty, pitching in, working hard, staying on task and being accountable and paying the price for ones’ mistakes. It can be closely aligned with the Pusher in that if you’re responsible for something, it will enlist your Pusher to do what you said you’d do, no matter what. It believes in the sanctity of promises.
Case example
At 33, Sal, a rising star, was promoted to be the senior sales manager the whole east coast of the United States for his company. In addition to his support staff, he had a crew of 25 sales people to train and oversee that they made their sales projections. Sal got his promotion because the owners of the company saw that they could always count on him to get the job done. He typically puts in a 60+ hour work week and he keeps good track of the performance levels of all his employees on a day to day basis. Recently, his wife of 2 years left him, saying she just couldn’t handle a marriage anymore that he was rarely in. She’s an aspiring photojournalist and she also likes to get stoned once or twice a week. She’s not particularly interested in having children. While at first he found her free lifestyle as an artist charming, now he thinks it’s an irresponsible way to live. In his view, the responsible way to be an adult is to be able to carry your own financial weight by working hard, getting married, having children and raising them to be responsible adults.
Something that Sal just can’t comprehend as long as he’s identified with his responsible self is that the world doesn’t ultimately depend on him being competent and in charge all the time. He married his disowned relaxed, creative self (in his wife), but couldn’t integrate the energy for himself.
Aphrodite Energy
This is the nickname that Hal and Sidra gave to our sensual self. Think of Botticelli’s painting of the Birth of Venus, or of Michelangelo’s statue of David. Here we have masterpiece images of a very human archetype (whether male of female) of embodied sensuality. This is the part that lives in us that experiences life through the skin, and all the senses and through proprioception. It emanates life force energy. It carries the force of beauty and pleasurable vibrant aliveness. Our Aphrodite energy is an attracting / attractive energy, although not in a manipulative way.
It also has an affinity for nature, delighting in the wind, the scents in the air, textures of trees, the sounds of the waves, the feel of cool moisture in the air, the colors of the mountain, the change of light at dawn and dusk. This part of you loves to get massage, likes to slowly stretch, anything that heightens the experience of the body.
Experiencing our Aphrodite energy is not dependent on our age, or on culture’s subjective descriptions of beauty. Anyone can radiate this energy and they will be noticed for it. It is different than sexual energy, although these two inner selves can certainly be experienced together. Our Sexual Self is an instinctual energy that is specifically focused on the sexual experience. The Aphrodite Self may flirt and create a way towards the Sexual Self, but it’s not the same.
Hal and Sidra Stone bring our attention to the fact that Aphrodite Self can be held personally or impersonally. Personal Aphrodite radiates its energy outward with the impulse to connect with the Aphrodite energy in others. When Aphrodite is connecting, it’s like a powerful magnet has been turned on from one pleasurable body to another. When Aphrodite is impersonally held, its just there for you alone, delighting in your own physical beautiful aliveness. In this case, you don’t care if others connect with you, if fact if they try, it can be a distraction. You impersonal Aphrodite let’s you glide through your world with a more acute, sensually experienced appreciation for the beauty around you and your part of this beautiful aliveness. For our inner Aphrodite, it’s not the idea of how lovely the world is, it’s a directly felt experience.
Case example
Elena is a fuzzy white haired 82 year-old professional Tango dancer who just moved to a senior living facility. Her husband of 52 years who took care of the business end of life died two years ago and she began to have trouble managing living alone and keeping track of the household bills and business.
Although her room plan is just like everyone else’s, when you walk in her little apartment, you’ve walked into a beautiful place. She brought her two beautiful Pakistani rugs, cut glass crystal ware, several of her treasured paintings and as many of her houseplants as her rooms could contain.
Elena has maintained her health quite well. Not only has she always been especially sensitive to eating good healthy food, she’s someone who takes great pleasure in how the food looks, smells and feels. She’s also maintained her easy mobility in large part because she has danced her almost daily for most of her life. She has always gotten such pleasure from being in movement, dancing to beautiful music, in the arms of a glowingly appreciative man.
Although there had been very little dance available at the senior center, she soon got some going and had many of the other ladies learning to dance with each other. She’s made new friends quickly; it seems that there’s a kind of glow to Elena and people just like being around her!
The Inner Patriarch
This is the part of us who carries the 3000 year-long rules for governing our social systems according to gender values. Sidra Stone devoted a whole book, The Shadow King, to exploring this self. Our Inner Patriarch tells women how they should behave, how they should look, how they should relate to others, what they should do with their lives, specifically because they are women. The Inner Patriarch likewise has specific rules that are for men.
Embedded in these rules is an implicit value system that men – and all things considered to be male/masculine, are better, stronger, wiser, higher, more essential and overall superior. Therefore, while the Patriarch has rules for how a woman should rightfully be, the inner Patriarch still considers all things that are feminine to be inferior. Our Inner Patriarch will honor women most when they are following it’s rules.
For example, women are weaker because of their female bodies. Women are considered to be more emotional – another weakness according to the Patriarch. The Patriarch forgives, but disempowers women for their emotionality and is restrictive to how and when men can be emotional (feminine) to very special, limited occasions.
Some things that the Inner Patriarch tells us are what are appropriate things to wear, given that you are male or female, what are appropriate careers to go into as your gender (a big issue recently in the US military and certain religious organizations), how tall your partner should be relative to you, (males ‘should be’ taller than their female partners), how much money you should make compared to your husband or wife, what household duties are for men and which are for women, whether it’s better to vote for a man or a woman for president (or, should a man or a woman ascend the throne), whether it’s better to have a boy or a girl child and whose last name the child should have (the Patriarch insists on tracing patrilineal lines).
The rules of the Inner Patriarch are, after so many millennia, encoded into many country’s laws and in particular, they’re encoded in our religious standards, based on ancient world texts, when the archetype of the Patriarch was just getting a handle in human consciousness. See also Merlin Stone and Riane Eislers’ work on pre-patriarchal cultures.
One thing the Patriarch can’t abide is any ambiguity about gender roles, identity and behavior, and for this reason, it is inherently homophobic. For the Inner Patriarch, you are either male or female and you should act accordingly. The other thing that the Patriarch is very concerned about is female sexuality. For the Inner Patriarch, this is something to be contained and expressed for and by men.
Case example
Maria is married, with a daughter, and is an active member of her local Catholic Church. She in fact volunteers at the church to produce their monthly newsletter and frequently helps out with ordering supplies for the church services. She feels that this is part of her spiritual work, to help in any way the fathers at church in their ministering to the flock. Just looking at her you would guess that she’s one of the church ladies; she dresses smartly and yet very conservatively. She wears modest jewelry only on special occasions. For her, her wedding ring is the jewelry that is most important to her, something she hopes to pass on to a future granddaughter after she dies.
For the last year, Maria has been beside herself over her daughter Sonja. 26 year old Sonja, rejected the Catholic teachings as too controlling and as not making sense in ‘today’s world’. Maria is afraid for her daughters’ soul and wants only to know that her daughter will join the family some day in heaven, in the light of their Heavenly Father.
It’s been bad enough the way that Sonja dresses– much too revealing for Maria’s (Inner Patriarchs’) values. She’s way too sensual, even sexual, as if she wanted people to think of sex when they saw her! Sexual energy should be private and reserved for the marriage bed (and purposes of procreation) as far as Maria is concerned. To make matters worse, Sonja just moved in with her boyfriend, and as far as Maria is concerned, is living in sin. She asks her daughter, “Why would he ever marry you now that you’re not a virgin?” Sonja’s father put it more crudely, “Why buy the cow when you can milk it for free?” Sonja’s father won’t speak to her as long as she is living ‘in sin.’ And he has no respect for Sonja’s boyfriend who he considers to be disrespectful of him, the father and of the rules in general.
...And All the Rest of Them
We have innumerable inner selves. Any given inner self has other’s that can oppose / complement it. For example, you can have a Laid Back self and an inner Workaholic. You may have a part of you who likes to plan – and stick with the plan, and a more disowned self who likes to just ‘go with the flow’ and who finds plans, reservations, etc, too arbitrary and restrictive. You could have a Logical Mind self (like the character ‘Spock’ on the old Star Trek series!), and you’ll then have your Sensual or Intuitive inner selves opposite that. If part of you is a very Obedient Rule Follower, then another part of you is a Rebel, Anti-Rule self. You may have a part of you that is a scheming Machiavelli while buried deep inside is your own Innocent Trusting Self who can become a Victim. Or, for any of these it can go visa versa!
These selves were developed contextually and we continue to live through them contextually throughout life. For example, you may take your parenting role very Responsibly. But when it comes to hanging out with your best friend, you feel quite Carefree. You may need to be very Orderly at work, but you let your Creative self take over in the kitchen or on the dance floor! Our Psyche is a gestalt of many energetic and archetypal potentials which we are only partially conscious of at any given moment.
In the next section, we look a pair of selves that affect all the other selves, and your general sense of well-being; the Inner Critic and the Inner Consoler.