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  • SuePattonThoele

Getting to Know You



Getting to know my subpersonalities has been one of the most helpful and healing psychological tools I’ve ever used. Being aware of the different aspects of myself helps me understand difficult feelings, helps me realize who inside me is experiencing them, and gives me the chance to find out what they want and need in order to feel better. The more I connect with my subpersonalities, the easier it is for me to move into the “I” aspect of my being and become an objective and kind mother/ mentor figure to a hurting sub.

Yesterday was a good example. Due to computer difficulties that included ignorance on my part, my longtime subpersonality Miz Perfection was frustrated to the hilt and as irritable as a PMSing mother of toddler triplets. Gene was trying to be helpful, but all I wanted to do was scream at him to be quiet. Luckily, I thought to ask Miz Perfection what she wanted and needed from me right then. In a smart-aleck tone, she retorted, “I want you to knock his block off, but I need you to speak calmly and get out.” I laughed silently, did as I was told, and avoided hurt feelings. The laughter lightened my mood, and leaving kept me from splashing icky irritation energy on Gene. A win-win.... Feminine wisdom always desires win-win outcomes.

Your subpersonalities can appear as male or female humans, animals, or symbols. In a visualization I did with my son, he discovered a squirrel subpersonality. At that time, no one I knew had an animal, but with Brett’s bushy red hair, active personality, and athletic ability, a squirrel was perfect. More importantly, he related to the image. Whoever or whatever appears to you and feels right is okay.

Orchestral musicians who understand their own and their colleague’s music play easily together. The same is true of you; the more you know, understand, and accept your various subpersonalities, the more harmoniously they can coexist. Internal awareness ups your happiness quotient enormously.


During your day...

  • If you are a visual person, picture your subpersonalities. If visualization is hard for you, simply get a sense of what they might look like. Name them and begin to explore what makes them tick.

  • If you are aware of subpersonalities in distress, ask them what they want and need from you right now. Wants can be different from needs.

  • Have fun. You are getting to know a valuable inner circle of advocates and friends.

The more you know and accept all your

selves, the stronger you become.

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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