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Sub-Personalities: Who's Calling The Shots?

Sub-personalities are like children - they need and demand a lot and often insist on getting their way. They keep nagging at you, screaming or throwing a tantrum when things do not materialize
04/05/2010 05:12am ET | Updated November 17, 2011
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Sub-personalities are like children - they need and demand a lot and often insist on getting their way. They keep nagging at you, screaming or throwing a tantrum when things do not materialize. Are your sub-personalities demanding that you act in inappropriate ways, say and do things that you might later regret? Forcing you to throw caution to the wind, act on their whims in the moment, and later declare that it just happened. In other words, who's calling the shots?

When you over identify with a particular wound it creates an emotional blueprint within your emotional body referred to as a sub-personality. Without realizing, you begin to build your whole identity and life around this blueprint, thus believing it is who you really are. Your sub-personality is not the real YOU, it is a part of you but it is not you. To make this distinction is crucial. You need to realize that a sub-personality suffering from lack of self esteem or low self worth is only a part of you, an extension of your emotional body. Rather than identifying yourself as 'I am insecure' you need to state 'A part of me is insecure'. This kind of discernment is truly empowering. It removes this insecure sub-personality from the position of power and puts you in the driver's seat.

Sub-personalities, in transpersonal psychology, are personas or pieces of the whole of the overall personality, which have a life of their own, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, intentions and agendas. There's the rebel and the martyr, the seducer and the saboteur, the judge and the critic and a host of others, each with its own mythology, all co-existing within a person. Issues and conflict arise when the polarity of a sub-personality becomes imbalanced. When opposing tensions sets in, the mind is clouded with conflicting views, which hinders its ability to make decisions that are appropriate. How can you figure out which sub-personality/personalities are calling the shots?

Start by taking stock of your outlook on life, by reviewing your behavior in various situations, and all the ways you express yourself in any given moment. When you recognize a sub-personality, you will be able to step outside it and observe its complex nature. By doing this, you will no longer completely identify with this or that sub-personality. Instead, you will begin to see the many faces of your soul and appreciate the value of each one.

We have many sub-personalities within us, each one of them has a story to tell. Each one views the world differently. Each one interprets the events of life differently. You need to acquaint yourself with the ones that are controlling your behavior, your thinking or your choices. Some sub-personalities are not harmful; they exist to support your well-being. Your attention needs to focus on the one/ones that constantly provoke and invoke, react and attack. These sub-personalities are hurt and angry, wounded and are in need of healing. To work with these energies requires patience and certain level of detachment in order to relate to them objectively. As mentioned above, the way you start is by identifying which sub-personality you have given power to, which one you have enabled to rule your life. You need to shift your thinking, and begin to perceive these sub-personalities as parts of you rather than 'It' being you.

Furthermore, to assess the validity of the demands and needs of a sub-personality before you take any form of action is essential. Pay special attention to the sub-personalities that are persistent, almost desperate. These sub-personalities are not guided by wisdom or insight, like children they have no boundaries and lack any form of discipline, and will be quite forceful in their attempt to make you act and carry out their intentions. You have to be strong and step back and evaluate if acting on their counsel will be good for the long term.

The difficult part when working with sub-personalities is the gaining of co-operation, and not just from the dominant ones, but the suppressed ones too. The dominant one needs to make room or allow the suppressed sub-personality to come through for transformation to take place and re-integrate back into the Self. This journey may take a while but it will be accompanied by breakthroughs and insights, freedom and healing, and above all, harmony of the inner life.