Those of us who experience inner conflict know the pain of itthe self doubt, confusion, resentment, “beating up,” feeling worthless, hopeless, guilty, defective. Some of us have successfully “walled” those feelings off and become driven, but we know something is missing, and know that walling off feelings is not the answer. If you experience inner conflict, it’s time to understand it, learn how to work with yourself to resolve it, and add peace, fulfillment, and enjoyment to your life. You can with self-understanding and a roadmap! Here is the start.
Last article I described the anatomy of a separate left (identity) and right (identity) hemisphere in the brain, connected to each other by the corpus callosum. Imagine the corpus callosum as millions of telephone lines, some carrying data, some carrying internal conversations, and some carrying instructions from one hemisphere (identity) to the other. When the communications carried by the corpus callosum between the hemispheres are conflictive, I call this split circuitry.
When the inner conversations are judgmental or self abusive, or, when one hemisphere sends instructions to the other in an effort to take over control of your overall behavior, you experience split circuitry. There are three forms of split circuitry I’ve identified so far:
The three forms are not always distinct from each other. You may have some aspects of all three.
These two characteristics sometimes pervade inner conflict: cynicism, in which you find it difficult to believe in the basic goodness of life, to believe that life can and is meant to be enjoyed, and that you can enjoy a productive life. Sometimes this cynicism carries over to other people, and you find it difficult to believe in the basic goodness and positive intentions of others.
The second characteristic of inner conflict is little compassion for yourself. When you argue with yourself, berate yourself, or call yourself names, you have self judgments with no room for cutting yourself slack. You have difficulty believing in your own worth and possibility. For some, this leads to lack of compassion for and lack of patience with others, as well.
This combination of cynicism and lack of self compassion can make it extremely difficult for you to seek out or believe you can find outside help to resolve your inner conflict. Cynicism and lack of compassion make it doubly difficult to believe you can help yourself.
This is what is happening here: Your right hemisphere/identity carries out the behaviors you don’t like (Note: Sometimes this is reversed and the left hemisphere is responsible for the unwanted behaviorlike worry or indecision). Your left hemisphere/identity is impatient and critical of the right, and your right feels guilty, ashamed, and sometimes rebellious.
You can help yourself, IF you shift your understanding of what’s going on inside you. Because of the disagreement of your two identities, they are locked in struggle instead of working together. If you call a time-out to their struggle, and help them discover…
They both have the same deepest intention for you (and for them): peace, happiness, freedom.
The only real difference between them is they each have dramatically different strategies for getting there.
They each have qualities, gifts, and skills the other does not have.
That if they reconcile, develop mutual respect and even affection, and work together, …
…you will have a breakthrough in peace, happiness, freedom.
The next obvious question is how do you do all that?
The breakthrough process begins when you start an inner dialogue with each hemisphere separately. Begin with the left hemisphere, the judgmental identity. I am going to give you instructions for how to conduct what I call a structured daydream. When you were a child, you did this easily. Just pretend this dialogue is real.
For many of you, doing something like this is a new experience, and you may be skeptical of getting results. Going through these steps leads to surprising self-discovery and understanding. You will understand things about yourself and your behaviors that will amaze you. It really works, give it a shot. Get a pencil and paper. Here are the steps:
Now, do exactly the same thing with your right hemisphere, the identity that actually does the behavior or has the feeling you would like to change. (Remember, sometimes this is the left hemisphere doing it. You’ll have to figure it out, and you can if you take your time.) Steps 1 and 2 are a little different. Here they are:
This completes phase one of the inner reconciliation process. There are three to go.
Your task until the next article is to study your two lists and notice the differences, and notice where they are the same. Share with us what you discover.
Next article, The Battle Within: Discover the Amazing Attributes & Skills of Each Hemisphere
If you’d like to contact me with questions about this article, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or comment on this article. I will respond.