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Who you are vs who you want to be

My first glimpse of IFS (Internal Family Systems).

To accept who you are seems to suggest that there’s no reason to gamble it all on who you want to be.

And yet…

To gamble everything on who you want to be seems to suggest that you’re really unhappy with who you are now.

This has always been an unsolved paradox in my head as I generally seem, upon inspection, to be both happy where I am, and eager to gamble a lot of it on something bigger.

In the shower today I decided to just let these two voices talk it out, without me getting in the way. And within about 30 seconds they had come to an agreement.

Who I am now agrees to accept who I want to be, and who I want to be agrees to accept who I am now. Neither voice will try to persuade the other on their primary belief, but rather accept that the other belief exists as strongly as their own. Seems obvious, but I can’t tell you how many years I’ve forced one or the other voice to shut up.

Our identities can be made out of paradoxes as long as we don’t enforce them to constantly duke it out. It’s like an auto-immune disorder of ideas, and it can all go away if we just accept that paradoxes live within us.

I got started on this kick of letting internal voices talk to each other without my getting in the way when I learned about the Internal Family Systems Model. It’s weird but really useful sometimes.

Added to the Internal Mental Space pile.
October 6, 2012

Buster Benson (@buster) is a writer and builder of things. If you're new here, check the about page or see my entire life on a page.


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