photo courtesy of aquiziam.com
A dreamer had a dream which she understood. It involved a conflict between her lighthearted self and a more serious side of her. Her dilemma was not in her comprehension of the dream message, rather, she was baffled about how to resolve her inner clash.
If you scroll down to my last post, you can read the dream, both in its original version--involving a steamy flirtation with a movie star--and in its metaphoric version which was about a struggle between a part of her that wants to have lighthearted fun and another part that keeps sending her mental messages about, "Get serious and get real." Her comment to me was, "Where do I go from here? I see validity to both points of view. Even in my dream, it was obvious that the sexual foreplay was innocent and not destructive in any way. It was by mutual consent. But I also understand that voice inside of me that says it's time to grow up and be an adult. So I guess my question is: When you're torn this way, what do you do about it?"
How do you resolve conflicted internal dialogue?
The simple answer to that question is that you work toward your own wholeness. By that I mean that you trade your conflicted attitudes for amicable ones. That is, of course, easy to say. But there is a way to go about methodically bringing it about. Here is how I accomplished it in myself.
I have a part of my own personality that loves detail work. When I am coming from this part of myself, I can sit for hours doing the most menial tasks and not be either bored or frustrated. Then, I have another part of my personality that loves the exploration of new ideas. It is happiest when it can be dreaming up schemes or ways to accomplish a task more efficiently or can be exploring an idea or a mechanism that is new. And this second aspect of myself hates to sit and be still while I work ponderously at some kind of repetitive task.
In my younger days, the conflict between these two aspects of my personality would frequently reach a crisis point. The part of me that likes new and exciting ideas would get bored with some tedious process I was involved in completing and nearly demand that I stop and go do something else. But my profession often required me to do chore-like tasks, and the detail part of my personality would become extremely upset because, by jumping up and doing something else, the job at hand wasn't being conscientiously attended to.
Finally one day, I decided to have a "conversation" between the two aspects of my personaality to see if we couldn't all work out a compromise. It turned out to be much easier than I anticipated. The first step was for each part of me acknowledge the value of the other part. "Yes," says the plodder, "you have great ideas and you have vision." "Yes," says the feisty one, "you can do exquisite work when given enough time."
That was the beginning of a constructive internal dialogue that we'll finish tomorrow.