Shar’s Story reveals her deeply painful experience as a young unwed mother in an unforgiving generation.
Family stories help people become three-dimensional. They make our loved ones more than what we see on the surface. They change our perception of significant others. Memories illuminate the experiences of our families; making our loved ones lives appear fuller, richer, with more emotional depth.
As I mentioned in Part 1, a subpersonality is a constellation of feelings, attitudes and behavior which is solidified and emerges out of a specific need. Subpersonalites develop as a way of getting along in the world, and are the faces that we project to others. Each subpersonality is a distinct energy system. Each represents “a person who lives within us” or our various styles of relating to the world.
By identifying and understanding the various characteristics of our subpersonalities, we are able to learn to dis-identify from their contents when we choose to. By learning to observe and detach, we can maintain a healthy sense of self that recognizes and can integrate the many faces we wear.
How we think about issues determines the kinds of assumptions that we make, and affects our behavior for better or for worse. Paradoxical thinking turns our normal manner of viewing problems upside-down. Common sense may seem to be discounted as we reflect on choices and behaviors that impact our life.
Paradoxical thinking is a different way of contemplating and resolving problems. Often, doing the very opposite of what would be considered the natural reaction to events is essential to personal growth and development. This, according to the Chinese sages, is called the law of reverse effort. Paradoxical thinking may play a role in shaping the way we respond to spiritual and psychological issues, personal values, and our general behavior.
One aspect of the human dilemma is gathering the strength and courage to break through the impasse of personal problems consisting of avoidance and fear — the twin killers of personal growth. Why is it that some people can motivate themselves and accomplish everyday tasks and set long-term goals? On the contrary, why is it that some individuals avoid, procrastinate, and waste valuable time agonizing about their inability to carry out self-rewarding behaviors?
There are little ways for all of us to display a positive attitude while finding meaning and purpose for our lives. In the process of genuine involvement and sharing, it is important to remember that an attitude that promotes meaning is created because of what we do, not because others choose to reciprocate.