Like many people, I have different subpersonalities in me. Those subpersonalities are identified with an emotion, attachment, traits, and disposition. There is the anxious me, angry me, thinker me, lazy me. I`m sure there are still other me`s, but I think those are my predominant traits.
Everyday of my life, there is at least one subpersonality/trait dominating in me, causing me to act or not to act in a certain way, or to think or not to think in a certain way. It was during last semester when I was taking a subject, which has full of ambiguous requirements, that I got tired of the anxious me. At the time, I was also reading Anthony de Mello`s book on Awareness, where he advised people to refrain from identifying our selves with our emotions. According to him, and as with other spirituality, the self and emotion are not one, they are not the same. And so it is here when I decided to name the anxious me, together with my other traits, to separate my Self from these traits.
My first subpersonality is Aniya. She is the anxious, worry-wart, pessimist part of me. She is the one who thinks ahead and is future oriented. She has a very low tolerance for ambiguity, thus making her want to control, inasmuch as she can, the future and or her surrounding. But her upside is that she can be very well prepared. She is the reason why I had a very wonderful lamaze childbirth, as she has been OC and well researched. To deal with Aniya is to acknowledge her presence, acknowledge her fears, and to tell her to give her best and leave the rest to God.
My second subpersonality is Intellihina. She`s the thinker, the reader, the seeker of truth. She`s the reason why I`m in graduate school. She`s also the one behind my marriage blog, Marriage Hour, and even behind this post. Intellihina is addicted to online forums, launching into heated discussions here and there. When she obsessively thinks, she forgets her other responsibilities. Most of all, she forgets her time with God. To deal with Aniya, is to acknowedge her, and provide a schedule or a time when she could think or write.
My third subpersonality is Lucinda. I named her after my mother`s name Lucita because I took my laziness after her, hehe. She is attached to convenience and comfort, my false gods. At her best she could pave the way for Intellihina to think and reflect productive thoughts. She is also in charge for my “me time,” as she loves to curl on the bed and bury her nose on her fiction novels. At her worst she could neglect house responsibilities, which is important for me as a homemaker. And of course, laziness is an unwanted attribute by the society.
Whenever I catch myself being either anxious, thinking or lazy, I would just say the name I assigned to this trait. I would acknowledge its presence in me and talk or counsel it like it`s my child. For example, when I catch myself starting to obsessively think again, I would say, “Hello there Intellihina, I know you want to think about her situation and find out the root of the problem. That`s actually helpful. Maybe you can do it later. For now, please focus on your daughter who is playing with you. For now, please live in the present.”
This technique is not my invention, I learned it from an ego psychology video I watched a few years back. The difference is that the “witness” or the “I” don`t talk with the other personality, like on my example above. Why do I need to talk to it? For me, it`s like dealing with a nagging or whining child. You either give in to her, and she will control you. Or you ignore her, and she won`t stop from whining and getting your attention.
So far, this technique has been helping me separate my real Self from my trait. However, there are times when I`m unaware of what`s happening in me, thus I identify with a certain trait or emotion and act unconsciously. But I can say, I`m slowly yet painfully improving with my awareness.
Now you might wonder why I`m fussing about this stuff. Perhaps because I`m getting attracted to walk a spiritual path, where awareness of my ego — my emotions, my thoughts, my attachments — are important. And another reason is that, it`s also liberating not to be a slave to my ego or to my different personalities. And lastly, every time I refuse to feed an attachment of my different subpersonalities is the time I can go nearer to union with God, who is my one true goal.