The saying goes that “Talking to yourself is a sign of madness” – I disagree! I think the sign of madness is when you don’t listen!
I am not talking about the term madness in a mental health sense or referring to split personality disorders in this article, I am talking about the chaos, confusion and ‘lack of peace kind of madness’ that happens in life when you stop tuning into your own intuition and trusting your own advice.
In my work as a Love Therapist, I often encounter clients who literally say “part of me wants a relationship but another part feels it is too much hassle” or “part of me wants to leave but the other part wants to stay”. I carry out an intervention-style therapy that I call Me, Myself and I for coaching clients on how to tune into the noise/voices in their heads and get to recognise which part of them is speaking. They then can help the voices of pain, conflict or chaos understand each other. This allows for better clarity of what is really going on and explains how fear, desire and hurt can all mix together to literally paralyse someone from making a decision.
These 3 Me, Myself and I parts are otherwise known as your Inner Child, your Self and your Ego.
The Inner Child is often the part of you who is crying out for love, affection and attention but may have painful scars that they have not yet healed. If these scars are then taken into a relationship they can bring jealousy, aggression, insecurity and lack of trust along with them.
The Ego can often get a bad rap! In itself, the Ego is essential to progress in our lives. Without Ego, most of us wouldn’t get out of bed, get to work, get to the gym, learn a new language or learn to drive a car. The Ego is the part of us that trusts and believes in our own ability to grow, to make money and to make decisions. If the Ego is damaged it can go one of two ways. We have all met someone with an over-inflated Ego, someone who seems to only be interested in their own abilities and life and who appears to have no interest in, or compassion for, understanding others. We will also have met those whose Ego has gone the opposite route and can no longer trust itself as it constantly looks for outward advice and guidance, lacking confidence in itself and requiring approval before making decisions or change.
Our Self is the Captain of our mothership on this journey that is called life. The Self is the part of you that can reflect on how well your Ego did in your driving test or why your Inner Child feels the need to self-medicate with food, alcohol, drugs or sex. Self is the source of compassion, acceptance, peace, love and harmony both for you and others. It is the part that gifts intuition and trust in your own advice.
Self is also the part that craves authenticity and recognition as ‘good enough’ in the search for love. “I want to be loved for who I really am” “I want to be appreciated as myself” “I often don’t feel good enough for them”.
In this time stressed and overachieving culture we live and love in, losing connection to an understanding of your Self is easy to do. This is more likely when the Inner Child has unhealed scars or the Ego is out of balance. This can also happen when someone always put others first. Those who see their Self only reflected through the eyes of others in their roles as a mother, a husband or an IT Consultant, for example, will often lose sight of who they are, what makes them happy and what they really want from life and in particular love.
If the Inner Child is hurting, the Self has taken a sabbatical and the Ego is left unchecked the chaos and madness that will ensue can only be tolerated for a limited time. Something will have to give. This can often result in the loss of self-love, self-esteem. friendships, romantic relationships, careers or health (both physical and mental).
Once that connection to Self is lost then investment in one’s desires and dreams often follow suit. Depression can follow losing sight of goals and dreams, not having anything to focus on for one’s Self and always nurturing others dreams. Without a happy Self who else is going to understand the needs of that hurting inner little boy or that powerful executive business woman in you.
When Self steps down in steering the Mothership it is guaranteed that life and love will go off course.
When it comes to love a primary reason that many relationships break down is that either the Inner Child or the Ego is the predominant force from either (or both) partner in the relationship. If the hurt Inner Child calls the shots in dating and relationships she or he will attract juvenile, insecure and sometimes dangerous liaisons as they are loving from a place of pain. If the Ego is at work in who it attracts and chooses to fall in love with (yes there often is a choice) then woe betide any partner who subsequently puts on weight, loses their income, their hair or their social status!
A happy healthy Inner Child is essential in our lives. This part of us often has the innocence, fun and potential for risk-taking that encourages the Self and Ego to have fun. Therefore, it is essential that any healing takes place and that the Inner Child becomes integrated with the Self to make wise and sensible, yet fun and loving decisions in life. As previously mentioned the healthy Ego is also essential to us in achieving our goals and dreams but without a fully integrated Self then who gets to decide what balanced set of dreams and goals it needs to achieve?
The Ego can get very tired of having to make all the decisions for your Self (you) without you taking part and the Inner Child really needs to know that you are interested and committed to loving and healing all parts of you. So, the next time you are in a dilemma about a decision, a relationship or what’s best for you don’t ignore the different voices in your head. Do a little Self-investigation. Take some quiet time and hear which part of you is speaking the loudest. Listen to which part of you might be wanting to be heard and bless yourself with the patience to take note and understand.
Life is an ongoing journey of balance. If you, like many, are out of balance there are many amazing self-help books and courses – including my own (that’s my ego talking) – to help in regaining this balance. However, if you feel your Inner Child needs help to heal those scars or your Self has lost its way on its journey then it may well be time to reach out and get help from a professional. Your commitment to your Self will pay amazing dividends in re-establishing goals and dreams for your Ego to achieve.
By investing in all parts of you and releasing heartache, stress and anxiety you get ready to retake the wheel. Enabling you to start relying on your Self again to make healthy decisions as you get back on course driving towards what you really want from both life and love.
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Articles that TJ writes for The Love Coach cover all steps in the cycle of love and include tips and advice for many dating or relationship issues. Her experience as a Love Therapist, Love Coach and Life Coach bring a real-life approach to everyday situations.
Remember life is for loving – that includes yourself!