All of us have “frightened parts” that are part of our personality. These are the parts that show up when we don’t act out of the “loving parts of our personalities”. These terms were coined by an American author and spiritual teacher Gary Zukav. Similar concept, although how one might arrive at it may differ, by an American coach and author Tony Robbins is “living in a beautiful state”. These both demand constant challenging of our frightened parts (a thought, emotion, behavior) which might manifest in anger, disappointment, fear, jealousy, blaming or whatever makes you feel miserable. William Glasser’s “Choice Theory” talks about “caring habits” as opposed to “deadly habits” (criticising, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, or bribing/rewarding to control) of relationships, which destroy them. And the more we refuse to acknowledge our frightened parts or the use of deadly habits, they will continue to resurface (because we re-create them) in our future relationships.
Some of these parts we have acquired over the course of our lifetime since birth, some before, some choose us through family dynamics, but everything serves a purpose.
Zukav talks about recognizing and challenging ourselves and others when we act out of the frightened parts of our personalities. Robbins emphasizes appreciation and gratitude, as you cannot be simultaneously grateful and angry, grateful and fearful etc. Glasser urges us to use the “choice theory language” and practice the caring habits of relationships – listening, encouraging, trusting, respecting, accepting, supporting and always negotiating differences.
I have recognized my default frightened part to be fear itself. It keeps popping up in situations where I demand more courage from myself. Ultimately, I am fearful of unleashing my full potential. I know that I’ve allowed fear to be an obstacle in many of my “failed” achievements. When that happens, I label it “I lacked courage”. What a horrible self-sabotaging time-wasting cycle that is. I think it’s down to me being an introvert, but it often takes a huge effort for me to open up to people, but what I’ve learnt is whenever I practice compassion and humility towards myself first and others, I allow my genuine self to come forward and I can easily relate to whoever I meet. We have so much in common and infinitely mirror and recognize each other.
How do I practice compassion and humility? For compassion to prevail, I realize that everything has a purpose and that everything has a right to its life. We are all going through life trying to fulfill our basic needs, which are often disguised, and some in any given time more demanding than others. We are social beings and most of these needs can only be achieved by interactions with others. I am able to communicate compassion when I remind myself that we all have our own very individually cultured perspectives and we draw meaning from situations as it suits us. But everything we do or not serves a purpose and opportunity for healing and practicing love. I feel humble when I recognize the vast areas where I am privileged and life constantly reveals more and more.
Every time we practice “deadly habits” of relationships we live out of the “frightened parts of our personalities”. Every time we choose fear over Love, we lose power. Power is a basic need but it is also infinite and must be shared, or the illusion of it will destroy us. The work we do on ourselves brings us closer to the people we need. But also, paradoxically, the more we come out of ourselves and place awareness on the outside world and others, is the more we focus on what’s real and become more creative, grateful, less fearful, critical and negative towards and within ourselves.