Some call it ...the 'bad' side, Kelly Clarkson just had a hit with the 'dark side'
Everybody's got a dark side,
Can you love mine?
Nobody's a picture perfect
Will you love me even with my dark side?
Another song capturing the eternal journey to be accepted fully, all our sides, parts, dimensions, colours and shapes …and it starts within.Our power within to make friends with all our sides, even the darkest, rudest and most distant.
Daily we have to make decisions on whether we buy or save, be outspoken or quiet, give in to someone's wish or not.
And sometimes, we have life long struggles whether we stay or go, quit or fight for, take it easy or carry on...
If balance is the key to a happy life, we need the patient side as well as the impatient one, the sweet as well as the firm, the wise as much as the naughty, the obedient next to the revolutionary, the good and the bad; we need them all to be a whole. Then again, we are whole... already.
Accept all our sides, have the parts talk to each other, see each other's point of view, acknowledge each other and therefore find the way to love. That is what in NLP terms we achieve with 'Parts Integration', a technique to have our parts 'sit down' together and have a chat. We close our eyes and we can just invite them to sit with us in our imagination's or memory's favorite bistrot, tavern or spot under the trees; or we can simply use our hands to picture them.
There they are; two different parts which from a first glance seem to have some kind of conflict, argument or simply want different things.
Then, we ask them who they are. Each part represents us in a unique way and even though we might sometimes think one is right and the other one is in the wrong, the truth is they are both there to serve a purpose and they both have valuable opinions, their own truth if we take time to listen to them carefully. They have their own right to exist inside us.
The key of the exercise is to find the higher purpose of both parts:
By holding hands out in front of us, we ask each of our hands ' Who are you?'
'Freedom' says the left hand. 'And you?' 'Security, nice to meet you!' says the right one.
We turn to security: 'What are you after?' 'Stability, safety.' comes the answer back.
'What will safety do for you?' 'Give me the possibility to relax, make plans for the future, ensure a good sleep and calm mind.'
'And what will this do for you?'
'Offer me a nice life, live many years, stay in good health, know where home is and have everyone I love around me.'
'And what will this do for you?' 'Give me a nice warm feeling, a life well lived, a happy life, a successful one.'
'What about freedom?' (attention shifts to right hand). 'What does freedom want?'
'Excitement, conquer the world, take risks, expand, try new things, be free to explore.'
'And what will that give you?' 'The satisfaction that I made the most out of life, honor a burning need inside me to connect with as many people as possible far away, express my naughty adventurous side, have fun!'
'And what is the highest intention of that?'. 'Give me a nice feeling of living life to the fullest, a happy life, a successful one.'
That is the moment when many times we notice the hands have come closer to each other. They realize the similar goals they share and have a deeper understanding of each other and their relationship. The hands come together and rest on the heart. Other times, this is not yet possible and they remain apart until...a next time.
Any conflict we witness around us is a mirror of internal parts being stubborn and have their backs turned to each other. 'Parts Integration' technique helps towards reconciliation. Just like two friends, two neighbours or family members have a misunderstanding and refuse to talk to each other because of pride, ego, shame or hurt, the same way different dimensions inside us stay away from each other and create gaps and fractures until we get them to 'come together' and talk it over. They might share a cup of tea, relax and find out that what really unites them is their common goal, more powerful than any differences in how they are pursuing it.
Everybody's got a dark side, Can you love yours?