See what happens if instead of ‘I am afraid’, you say ‘Part of me is afraid’
If instead of ‘I am unsure’, ‘Part of me is unsure’
Instead of ‘I am angry’, ‘Part of me is angry’
By allowing yourself the understanding that you are a being of many parts, rather than a single, monolithic self, you open up these possibilities:
Firstly, coming to understand emotions as something you have rather than what defines you …
… It really is quite different to know yourself this way – there is much more agency in having rather than being had by what you feel.
Secondly, remembering that there are always parts of you that are feeling something different to what’s most apparent to you …
… parts that are settled when you’re experiencing anxiety, parts that love when you’re feeling irritated, parts that are courageous and able to take action when other parts of you are paralysed with fear.
And thirdly, discovering that the same is true of others …
… so that when you’re bewildered by her rage you can remember that there is still a part of her that is kindness; when you’re supporting him in his uncertainty you can call on the part of him that has clarity; and when you’re struggling with his self-centredness you can remember the part of him that still, even in the midst of all the difficulty, cares deeply about all of it.