It’s been several weeks since I’ve been on-line and posting to my blog. It feels like a lifetime ago. I have been building a new home these past several months – moved in mid-December – and, am just now feeling settled enough to get back to writing. To those of you who regularly read this blog, thanks for your patience.
Most of us have a family. Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses, children, grandchildren. Sometimes we consider very good friends or mentors part of our extended family. Those close relationships usually bring some of our greatest joys and some of our greatest challenges. Often not everyone in our “family” agrees or likes each other.
Did you ever consider you have an internal family? You’ve probably heard the expression “inner child?” We not only have an inner child we have many inner team members. Parts of us are fairly compatible and other parts are not at all compatible – they relish going to war inside. The question is who is the leader? Who is managing the team? Who decides which part is front and center in any given moment?
It’s important we get to know all our internal family. The part of me that is an introvert. The part that wants to be the center of attention. Someone in here is afraid. Someone else is very courageous. An aspect wants love, another shies away. One part wants to work, another to sit and read. One wants a lot of money, another couldn’t care less. Party or be more settled? And, on and on.
Before I retired I was a manager. I learned a lot about managing people and projects over the years. First, it was important I understood the job to be done – where were we as a team going – what was the goal? Next, I had to understand and get to know each of my team members – their strengths and weaknesses. I needed to know who best played each role as the team set about getting our job done. It was also critically important I understood my own gifts and challenges – my own blind spots and biases. Finally, we each had to know one another very well – no hidden flaws or gifts. Everything on the table. Life in the sunshine.
It seems to me that same model applies to managing my inner team. Where do I want to go with my life? What’s my service? Why am I here? Who are all these sometimes conflicting aspects of me? Consider that all of you, each part, is neither right nor wrong. Simply a part of you, valuable in its own way.
The trick is learning to consciously manage or be the leader of your team. Inside you – now – who is the manager – the team leader? Is it your spiritual self – the part of you that’s always been there since as far back as you can remember – your authentic self some might say? Or, is a team member on a power trip – like a politician promoting his own constituency sometimes to the detriment of all else?
Consider getting to know your internal team. Talk to them. Talk to fear or courage or love or hate. What do they want? How do they feel?
And, check in – who is in charge inside?