Parts of the Soul
Our souls are not a single thing. There are many aspects to the self that make up who we are. Psychologists talk about “self-states” and the Id, Ego, and Superego, to describe how we change from moment to moment, day to day, as the different parts of us come into play. Often though, we don’t realize that there are different parts of us wanting to be heard.
Our bodies have natural ways of being that are unique to each individual. Many ancient systems classify these types: such as the Indian System of Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha, and Kapha Dosha. Your nervous system is wired in particular ways that influence your way of being in the world. These are aspects of yourself that you cannot change, any more than you can change your bone structure. You have to cooperate with your body’s make-up.
Your emotional self is another aspect of Soul. You have emotional responses that are tied to physical aspects such as your brain chemistry, the activity of mirror neurons in your brain, the level of sensitivity of your senses, and your past experiences. These are also things that you learn to cooperate with if you want greater peace in your life. For example, some people are excited by horror movies, while others are traumatized by them. Why fight to be something you are not?
Your mental self certainly can grow, but tends towards a certain pattern of thinking and learning. The learning types are commonly known now, and most people seem to favor one more than others. Some people learn visually, others like to hear things, other prefer to learn by doing. Understanding how you mentally work can aid you in learning faster and better, as well as helping you to change thought patterns that you want to change. Ignoring your mental style makes everything so much harder.
Your Personality type also tends to be mostly unchanging throughout life. The Enneagram, Color Personality Type, and the Myers-Briggs Type indicators are very popular systems for helping you to understand the basic settings for your personality. Carl Jung suggested the basics for these types 100 years ago. Many people find understanding their type very beneficial. Why fight against your nature?
Spiritually, how often do you ignore your instincts and intuition? Are paying attention to signs? Do you spend time in meditating, prayer, or another spiritual practice that lets you tune in to what your higher self is saying?
The Violence of Not Listening
How often do you refuse to listen to yourself? Your body is tired, but you do not rest. Your mind is too fragmented, but you still try to multi-task. You are emotionally overwhelmed, but don’t retreat to understand your feelings and allow them to dissipate.
We live in a culture that rewards not listening to the parts of our self that are trying to get our attention. Beginning with family, church, and school, we are taught to ignore natural urges, repress emotions, and “achieve” more and more, while our souls are starving. It doesn’t matter that the latest psychological research shows that multi-tasking makes for poor performance. We continue on, glorifying the person who is so overwhelmed and busy that they never listen to their own needs.
This violence that we perpetrate against our own souls is turned outwards as well. We force others to live up to these practices of not listening inwardly, which is a form of violence. Our culture ridicules those who do any tuning-in to the self and we join in. We call it “lack of self-control” and shame those who listen to their own needs.
We even turn this violence against the planet. Since we don’t listen to our own physical and emotional needs, why should we listen to the natural rhythms and needs of the planet? So we permanently change its landscapes, hunt its animals to extinction, poison its water and air, and do so because the violence of denying nature has been so bred into us that we cannot understand why all this is a problem.
What to Do?
You can stop this cycle, but it takes some effort to go against society’s flow. Don’t try to do it all at once. Start with listening to your body’s rhythms. When is to hungry, tired, stressed, cramped? Check out some body systems and see what speaks to you. Accept your body as it is right now.
Once you are getting better at hearing what your body needs, you may want to check out your personality type. There are free online tests and plenty of books for you to explore. Knowing how you work makes it easier to work with, instead of against, your natural ways of being.
Once you head down the path of self-discovery, it is so much easier to flow along with your natural states than to fight against them.
For help in finding your Soul’s Parts and working with the flow, we offer the 7 Soul Path coaching series. Services We Offer We also offer the Soul Search Cards to help you tune in to the inner voices. Check out Soul Search Cards