The Plus Symbol
People have become very aware of whole-brain thinking. What fascinates me about the whole brain-thinking is the way the parts of the mind come alive together. The body-mind, the emotional mind and the rational mind seem to wake up together and an inner harmony emerges. Different parts of the brain control different functions and in the same way, the different parts of your personality each have a function in your thinking, your relationships, choice-making and more.
The plus symbol is there to remind you how important it is to synthesize and integrate all parts of yourself. Not only do you need to add up all of these parts before you can become whole but you need to acknowledge each part as equally important. Once you are able to do this, you will witness a shift in your thinking. It will be evident in the self-talk, the monkey chatter in your head. The relentless running commentary will slow down, decrease in occurrence thereby leading to an improvement in the quality of your thoughts.
Every part of your being deserves to be acknowledged and allowed to share a space in your life. Just think about a class full of children. If a teacher only acknowledges a selected few, allowing only them to participate and answer her questions, chaos will ensue with the ignored pupils talking, playing games and even fighting amongst themselves. The teacher will have a tremendous battle in trying to keep the attention of the small select group while still maintaining order in the class.
The same happens to your personality. While you may favour those parts of yourself which suit society i.e. your job, your friends etc, the other parts do not disappear into thin air just because you ignore them. These parts start experiencing abandonment and isolation and in the absence of the teacher (sensibility), they start shouting out their own ideas, fears and unruly thoughts. Just like children who would do anything to draw attention, these parts will find a way of getting your attention.
These thoughts will not go away until they are acknowledged and until you do give acknowledgement. They will keep craving your attention by displaying signs of obsession in four ways:
Obsessed with perfection
These thoughts will keep your mind busy by endlessly comparing you to someone or something outside of you.
- My legs are thinner than hers
- My children are smarter than the Murray-children
- If only I could lose another 5 kg
- One day I will drive a real car
Obsessed with knowing
Being able to venture into the unknown is our birthright. While you are obsessed with knowing, you will never allow yourself the freedom of going into uncharted waters. You will not only lose that part of you which is adventurous and spontaneous, but you may also lose your inner compass and ability to live your life fully and uniquely. You will only tread the worn, threadbare paths and wonder why life has become so boring.
- It is not tested in a laboratory – so it’s not safe.
- What if… these questions will supply you with a dozen and more of things that can go wrong, regardless of the probability of it not happening at all!
- These people do not enjoy surprises at all.
Obsession with intensity
The thoughts arising from this obsession will never allow for a mediocre crisis. Their game is to catastrophise everything.
- If I don’t go to the doctor, this may become a life threatening illness
- My child nearly drowned! –he only had a few big gulps of water.
- I will never find love again. I will lock myself up in solitude for the rest of my life!
- All perfectionists fall in this category.
Obsession with bad news
These parts will make you irritated in your rush home just in case you miss the evening news. You will be fascinated by everything that is wrong all over the world and then go to bed worrying about the state of the world and the economy. You will be so overwhelmed by these thoughts and fears that you miss out on spending quality with your friends and family. You will be obsessed with listening or reading the news – and as all journalists know bad news – not good – is what sells the daily newspapers.
If you allow all parts of your personality to surface and take up their rightful places, these voices will slow down, become weaker and quieter. In time you will hear the humming of your energies as they work together towards your goals. You will start experiencing the satisfaction to be found in every moment and you will “hear the snowfall in your body”. The direction and intention of your thoughts will be integrated.
In this way, you will experience satisfaction during every moment of your life. Your reward will not be found only at the end of the road but in every step you take. By artfully integrating the different parts of you, the dualities in life and the perceived polarities which you encounter on your unique and special journey you will reap the rewards of a rich and full life.
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