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A VERY Short Intro to "Parts"

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by njoy, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Briefly, there are times when we all notice that we have parts. Some call them sub-personalities but we could just as easily call them opinions. It's really that simple. Sometimes we think, want or do one thing---sometimes another. Sometimes we like one thing. Another time we hate it. This is completely natural. We all do it.

    Here are some examples:

    - You want that piece of pie but you also want to lose a few pounds for next month's high school reunion.

    - You think you'd like to change your major (or your job, or your hair color) but part of you says, "Oh, grow up!" and tells you all the disadvantages or, worse, yells at you.

    - You feel cross or tearful and wonder, "What's the matter with me?"

    - You act, at times, in ways you later feel bad about. What happened there? Why did you behave on impulse, in a way that now seems stupid or even a bit "crazy"?

    Fact is, we all do these things because we have "parts". This has nothing to do with multiple personalities. Our parts are completely normal and they need to be respected. If they differ, their ideas need to be listened to and integrated.

    Otherwise, we will eat that pie and kick ourselves later. Or we'll wish we could make changes but feel we can't. Or we'll be subject to moods and actions that embarrass us and work against our goals and values.

    Instead, let's learn about parts and how to bring peace to our "inner family".

    Check out the Resource Sticky for ways to get started. Or just read the threads, call in on Saturday, or post questions. It's a new and interesting way of looking at you and I think it will help.


    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2014
  2. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great info, Njoy, thank you! I get on information overload at times and this overview is very helpful.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Glad it helped, North Star. I even found the theory very intuitive once I really got that "Hey, I've got parts!"
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    :)Yes this is an awesome post Njoy. I'd love to be a part of the call in this Saturday. I have an issue that I'd like to investigate into. Well a part of me wants to ya know. The last time I was with you guys was awesome. I have been free of that issue since. Awesome stuff. Looking forward to more resolutions.
    Forest likes this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, njoy, for the summary. It's very helpful. I have the Self Therapy book and have looked it over a bit. I'm still not clear on why I need more parts than Freud's theory of the id (inner child), ego (inner adult), and super ego (inner parent), though I think an 'inner adolescent' would be helpful--a particularly vocal part in me ("whatever"):) I'm sure if I read more, I'll get it.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes you will Ellen. I have been looking into it for some time now and when I first called the group I wasn't sure how the rules went but they we're so nice and kind and before an hour was up I got to something that I hadn't been able to get out for 20 years and I felt the release of a repression so it was pretty awesome.:)

    The part on the Freud thought of the id - ego and super ego. Well there's times that you don't know what's going on like you cant just get yourself to do something you know you need to do because you feel that a part of you is holding you back. Well that's what Ifs is for in one sense, pretty cool.
    Forest likes this.
  7. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I am starting to like the idea of thinking of parts as opinions that were formed in response to trauma when we were too young to know what we were doing. They aren't our grown up selves in any real sense. They are inner child opinions. They need to be respected (because they are trying to help), listened to, cared for, and released.
    Ellen likes this.
  8. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Ellen, parts theory is such a simple concept and yet it is really hard to get -- how paradoxical. I am the same as you, I still struggle to get it. Yet, I know it's true! Weird stuff.
    Ellen likes this.
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    What I like about Parts Therapy is that it teaches us to listen better to our own inner voices, to make our own map of our inner landscape. Freud made a universal map that could apply to anyone, but it is completely static and lacks detail because of it's universality. What I like about parts is that it allows us to work on a reaction we are having that we don't understand and it gives us a fairly simple step by step procedure to learn more about what is going on underneath. The idea, as I understand it, is that by reassuring these old parts, we can release the problems.

    @njoy, I wonder if a post like this, but on the actual step by step process of IFS, might help. Sometimes (an audio) picture is worth a thousand words, so if we could record a session and embed it here in a post, that might help make things clearer and more concrete (we have the technology). Embedding it in a post (ideally, your original post above) might help, as it can be hard to get people to follow links.
    njoy and Ellen like this.
  10. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Lovely idea, Forest, to do a step by step. Let's work on that.
  11. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Ellen, you said, "I'm still not clear on why I need more parts than Freud's theory of the id (inner child), ego (inner adult), and super ego (inner parent)..."

    I've never really fully understood the Freudian thing. The three parts make sense but how they fit together into a whole is a mystery to me. I tend to divide the world into two main categories: lower and higher self. Lower self is about survival and looking after #1, in short, parts. This seems to correlate with id and ego. Higher self is about helping others, understanding more deeply, connection with the cosmos. This may correlate with superego but, frankly, I don't think so. Superego sounds like more lower self to me.

    I think higher self is what IFS calls "true self" which is caring, connected, compassionate, and functions "above" the myriad interests of the parts.
    IFS offers a way to view my inner workings with a subtlety I hadn't previously achieved. I am in one or the other, not both at once. Lower self takes over when it feels the need protect our internal family system from harm. Its reasons are essentially self-serving. For example, a part might say, "Put on a happy face with Joe because if you rile him he'll hurt us (the family system) and besides it's not nice and you are supposed to be nice."
    I think people are capable of altruism but that can be difficult to distinguish from the agendas of parts. Parts don't care about my motivations; I like to understand what I'm up to and IFS helps me do that.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
    Lily Rose and Ellen like this.
  12. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks Njoy, Forest, and Herbie for your explanations. It's very helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to write it out.

    I definitely need to give it more thought. I think I'm feeling muddled right now because I'm reading too many different paradigms at once, and I'm getting them all jumbled up. But I enjoy the intellectual stimulation it all provides.

  13. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think it must be possible to have both at once ... at least for brief moments. After all, there can be sun and rain, and thus ... the rainbow. Where the two intersect, this might be a sacred place, where there is unity. This place where we accept all aspects of ourselves.

    Can this be?

    with grace and gratitude,

  14. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Ellen, I totally agree about "too many different paradigms". I often have to have a nap to let my head stop spinning!

    Lily Rose, I like what you are saying but I think that unity is achieved between two people when both are functioning in true Self or when true Self and a part understand and respect each other. True Self will never agree with all their own parts, let alone other people's parts, because each part comes with its own opinions which may be miles from our core values. Peace comes when we thoroughly understand the issues and accept that the part is doing its best to help. Even better is when the part feels good about giving up the protector role and letting true Self lead the inner family. In my experience, parts are usually happy to do that once they decide true Self is making sense and can be trusted.

    Parts fight, work together, or are disinterested in each other--all in a rather primitive way. They are not people. They are not us. I want to call them fragments of personality that have split off and hidden because of childhood trauma. Not sure where that comes from but it suits me. True Self, once recognized and brought into consciousness, is NEVER critical of parts. It accepts the good intentions of all parts eventually or, in the beginning, those it has listened to and understood. That's a non-issue. If you feel you are in true Self but also feel critical, you are not in true Self (wow, do I ever need a pronoun! -- how about ts. Hm, not really. If you feel critical you are blended with a critical part, at best. You may even have been taken over by a critical part at that moment.

    I think the IFS point of view is something like this: the parts we have to deal with are problem parts -- they aren't naturally into unity; they are not fully developed personalities like true Self; they have strong opinions and powerful agendas and they decided on the best way to defend the inner family long, long ago when they were very young. if true Self blends with a part (becomes critical) it needs to gently separate itself. When you are getting to know a part, there will often be other, concerned parts who pop up and argue. They need to be heard, preferably later, so true Self asks them to step back. Occasionally true Self has to ask the first part to step back but it's usually better to take proper turns.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
    Ellen likes this.
  15. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I rewrote the above post for more clarity. Hope it makes better sense, now.
  16. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    You just expressed the definition of Namaste.

    I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
    I honor the place in you,
    Where lies your love, your light,
    Your truth and your beauty.

    I honor the place in you, where ...

    If you are in that place in you ...
    And I am in that place in me ...
    Then there is only one of us.

    I am starting to think that my definition of 'parts' may not be the same as what you refer to. My 'voices' have the role of expressing different scenarios, and doing different jobs. They run the various departments' within my mind. My entire body is one, massive organic government, sans the corruption aspect. While one part may not know what the other part is always up to, when necessary, or just for fun, everyone unites. Then they scatter again. It can be very entertaining, or very frustrating, depending.

    There are some departments, obviously, that scatter back to the shadows ... that would be the pain aspect.

    This morning .... the shadows were dancing, and the pain .... for the first time in a long time ... let me rise from my bed without the need to crawl to a table or wall. This was amazing!

    with grace and much gratitude,
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  17. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks again, Njoy, for this very helpful summary. It's becoming clearer to me. However, it does kind of evoke the worst family Thanksgiving dinner I ever sat through :D
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Njoy. Thanks for the Parts summary. Parts is an excellent addition to TMS knowledge.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  19. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Lily Rose, congratulations on the improvement in your TMS. That's spectacular.

    Love the poem, too. Thank you.

    I don't think our definitions of parts differ all that much. Of course, we are always unique individuals and will see things from that perspective. I feel, for myself, I have to watch out for corruption. I'm not corrupt "on purpose" in the sense that I scheme or try to take advantage of others. Still, my parts have been known to do some stuff I would call corrupt and I need an eye kept on them.

    For example, right now a part of me is mad at a friend who seems to be ignoring the needs of another friend who is dying (imo) of a long time addiction to prescription drugs. I don't want to ignore this and it pisses me off that they both constantly agree that "Oh, it's getting so much better!" Clearly it is not. She is using 24/7. I am not saying anyone can "save" her but couldn't we try?! Now, obviously I am not in true Self, here. So does my part have an agenda that is corrupt in any way? I need to explore this NOW or I will regret it LATER (when it pops into conscious awareness, assuming it ever does).

    Okay, writing this out has helped. I need to get into true Self and stop waiting for backup, lol. I need to be caring, connected, compassionate with my addict friend and stop pretending that I believe her "getting better" lies. I've been waiting for my other friend to get real with the addict and it's me who needs to do it. Wow, scary.

    To me, pretence is corrupt but I can't blame the part. The problem is a failure of leadership from true Self.

    Edit: Or maybe I need to explore why I think all this is any of my business. Maybe it isn't. Or is that the voice of a part scared of being honest with her? Dang, this is hard work!

    Still, for me, I've made incredible progress using IFS to untangle my mind. In a few months I've done years of good work. I think I have, anyway!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  20. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    [quote="Ellen, post: 23270, member: 1370"However, it does kind of evoke the worst family Thanksgiving dinner I ever sat through :D[/quote]

    That's hilarious, Ellen. SO true. They can be a rowdy bunch those parts. The question is do we want them running our lives? I moved out of the house 50 years ago for good reason!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.

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