I am a guy and I am many guys! Well, at least two: my ‘acting self’ and my ‘inner judge’. My acting self is the one who decides to watch four episodes of House of Cards in a row and decides not to blog today. My inner judge’s scornful (and silent) commentary will be something like: Your blog is totally gonna fail with you starting out like a lazy bum…!
The acting self also likes to buy a bar of chocolate, start to eat it on the staircase and finish it within ten minutes. The inner judge will simply shake his head going “you are gonna be fat, what’s with your plan to cut down on sugar, you have got no self control, you’re a weakling…!”
There is probably not a single human being not housing both parts. And within many people the two foes cause a deadlock or at least a state of constant latent dissatisfaction: My acting self decides to eat the chocolate – but he cannot really enjoy it due to the judge’s comments. And the judge on the other hand is depressed because he only wants the best for me but doesn’t seem to accomplish a lot.
The problem is not that we have both parts within ourselves. The problem is caused by the fashion in which both communicate with each other – which leads us to our main subject. The poor judge has never learnt to express himself in a non-violent, life serving style. No wonder, looking back at the upbringing most of us underwent. In his language the judge tends to imitate our parents and our teachers: This is good, that is bad, this you should do, that you shouldn’t. This is unacceptable, gross, ugly. You really have to work harder, I told you it wouldn’t work…..
For our acting self this is nothing less than tragic. Because faced with such a language only two options remain: obedience or rebellion. This creates an antagonism between the two which can really take the fun out of our lives. In a worse case we might become seriously ill.
The magic word, again, is empathy. Two souls, alas, are dwelling in in my breast! And both want to be heard! Both have feelings and both have their priority on different needs. Your acting self may want you to relax, while your inner judge may want your life to have meaning.
An inner judge faced with empathy can transform from a tormentor to a developer and creator, supporting us lovingly with our progress in life. The art lies in separating both entities from one another and dedicating your full and undivided attention to each one. Once they feel safe, they quickly start opening their hearts.