To ensure certainty, safety, and protection from any other form of trauma, defenses give themselves the creative powers and freedoms they believe are appropriate and necessary to protect from trauma’s future incursion. Defenses, as the custom officers or security police at our emotional borders therefore possess a lot of power. (Link: What is a defense?)
Defenses are very reluctant to give up power. They do not trust the “Authentic You” who wants to bring change into your life. They only trust themselves. They reason that if “You” were not able to prevent past trauma, then “You” cannot be trusted to prevent it again. From the defense’s perspective, any change is associated with the unexpected and change could ignite trauma once again – and the defense has a long, long memory. So, if you suffered the trauma of abandonment at the age of six months, the defense will carry the expectation of abandonment re-occurring at the age of sixty-six. If you were exposed to a trauma of rage at age three, the defense will be making decisions to protect you from all relationships it sees as carrying the potential of rage at the age of forty-three and beyond. The problem is that our defense parts, in their attempts to protect, may be surveying more ground than is realistically necessary. Opportunities may be passed by or even lost due to the defenses interpretations of relationships or situations as carrying the potential, in these examples, of abandonment or rage. The question always is, whether the extent or form of defense protection is still necessary. If we are ever able to take the defense aside to ask this precise question, it will always reply, “Yes, you need my protection. Without me, my influence, and my intervention you will not survive.” (Link: Who is the Authentic You?)
The key to sustained personal change and growth, happiness, and ultimately success in our everyday lives requires that we have the ability to step outside of the limited boxes created by the defense. This will require defense management. Unless we take the defense into account and include conscious management of our defenses change will always be limited, or at best, a bumpy ride. Continue reading
As every country’s army or police force’s intent is to prevent the incursion of trauma from outside of its borders, we each possess an internal defense force, whose intent is to prevent any external situation or event from causing or creating trauma. A nation’s defenses will take whatever action is necessary to prevent any outside force from invading and threatening the security and safety of its citizens. In the same way, our own defenses will act against any person, situation, or event it sees or senses as having the potential to cause trauma in the present moment or at any time in the future. The defense force therefore sees its role as one of protector, or adviser on how best to protect. Continue reading
Who observes? Who is the observer witnessing the parts? When any emotion or behaviour is named as a part, an observer to the part is created. As soon as you acknowledge, “A part of me feels distressed,” or, “There is a part of me who feels like relaxing now,” automatically, an observer in you is now witness and present to the feelings, concerns and experiences of these parts. This new presence changes the internal emotional landscape. Whereas before you may have only been aware of the concerns of one single part of you, such as an overwhelming, dominating feeling of distress, whenever you name, “There is a part of me who feels in distress,” at least two experiences are now occurring simultaneously: the feeling of distress, and an observer and witness to the distress, or to the part experiencing distress.
There is now greater choice available. The choices are: do I adhere to and accept the concerns this one particular part of me has, or is there another perspective to the situation the part is reacting to that is may be more relevant here? Continue reading
When you start to name your emotions and behaviours as parts you may find your inner family of parts to be quite large. This is normal. We all have large families inside that are experiencing our world in many different ways at the same time. You will find that naming these experiences as parts brings you in touch with your present experience.
Let’s say for example I am stuck on the freeway in the middle of rush-hour coming home from work and the traffic is just not moving. I turn off the radio. I immediately notice there is a part of me who is reluctant to turn off the radio. This part of me prefers sound over silence. A part of me is impatient with this traffic jam and just wants to get home, while at the same time there’s another part who values the time alone. Another part is worried about the amount of work I have piled up back at work. Another part is so looking forward to being at home with my wife, and there’s a part of me who feels sad that I am unable to be home right now. Continue reading