We all have many parts. Multiplicity is the inherent nature of the human mind and our ‘parts’ reflect a natural adaptive response to a challenging world.

Every major school of psychology recognises that people have different parts. These ‘parts’ may be referred to a sub-personalities, ego states, energy systems, inner-critics, schema’s, saboteurs, cognitive distortions, or ‘states of mind’.

I use the term ‘parts’ to refer to the natural ‘subpersonalities’ that exist within all of us.

At some level, you intuitively understand the concept of having many parts. Have you ever been invited to a friend’s party and thought part of me really wants to go because I don’t want to miss out, but another part of me just wants to stay home, order pizza and watch a movie. In a situation like this one, perhaps the ‘part’ that wins out is the part that dreads the idea of telling your friend that you would rather stay home than come to their celebration, and so you get dressed up and go. Perhaps after you arrive at the party, you notice your energy shift as your outgoing, fun-loving life-of-the-party part awakens and you end up having a great time.

Our parts don’t reflect some sort of dysfunction or calcified pathology – rather they intentional protective adaptive response to the challenges we have faced, and the hurts and disappointments we have experienced in our lives.  Our thoughts are the inner dialogue of our different parts.

We might see our parts as younger versions of ourselves. Or we might experience parts as body sensations or urges. Some examples might include “The chocolate-monster part”, “The wine-lover part”, “The shop-a-holic part”, “The shouty-mummy part”, “The withdrawn part” or a “Volcano” part whose job it is to erupt with anger at any sign of feeling weak.

Your parts are very hard-working. They are the invisible inner team responsible for running your day-day-life, for helping you to be ‘successful’ and for keeping you safe and connected. Whist your parts have played important roles in keeping you safe and connected, often their go-to-strategies are no longer fit-for-purpose and are more depleting and disempowering than they are uplifting and empowering.

Every single part of you holds a positive intent for you, even if its actions or effects are counterproductive or cause problems in your life. This means that there is never any reason to fight with, coerce, or try to eliminate a part; the aspiration of the practices you will learn in this book is to cultivate internal awareness, connection and harmony. To empower your parts to play more helpful roles in your inner team.

The good news is that, over time, you can help your parts to trust in your core self as their natural, unifying leader. By harnessing your innate curiosity and patience you can cultivate a relationship all parts of you that is grounded in acceptance and appreciation.  When we gently illuminate our parts and help them to meet, and over time, trust in us as their leader, we grow into ourselves and grow our sense of inner harmony.

What new possibilities might emerge if you could extend compassion and curiosity to all your parts (and the parts of others) based on the understanding that having many parts is natural, universal and beneficial?

What would it mean to trust that beneath all your inner chatter lies an indestructible core of goodness?

What if the pathway to good leadership, and true belonging is being yourself, not changing yourself?

What if everything you need is already inside of you, waiting patiently for you to notice?

Are you curious to explore how the practice of self-fidelity might support you to embrace your multiplicity?

If so, I would love to talk. You know where to find me.