If we want to be thorough in exploring an emotional issue, we need to address both ends of the polarity it belongs to.
For instance, if we explore the victim part of us, we also need to explore the victimizer in us. They are both parts of the same dynamic and create and reinforce each other. If we only address one, we leave an important part of the dynamic out, and this holds some of the issue in place.
Both ends of the polarity are already in us, so if we want to explore an issue more thoroughly, we need to address both ends of the polarity and the dynamic between them.
SOME OF THE WAYS WE HAVE BOTH IN US
In what way do we have both in us?
I’ll take the victim-victimizer dynamic as an example.
We have victim thoughts like “poor me”, “life is unfair”, and these are also the victimizer thoughts. These thoughts, when held as true, create a sense of being victim.
I can find how I victimize myself when I engage in and fuel those kinds of thoughts. When I tell myself stories making me into a victim, I am the victimizer in that moment.
I can dialog with the victim and victimizer parts of me and get to know them. I can find both in me.
I can find several specific examples of how I have acted in ways that triggered a sense of victim in others.
I can take any story I have about victimizers in the world, turn it back to myself, and find specific examples of how it’s true.
The story of victim and victimizer is a story. It’s not inherent in the world. Both stories are in me. They are part of the mental representations I put on top of the world. (Which doesn’t condone victimization!)
I can find that I am what my field of experience happens within and as, and that includes any and all victims and victimizers I have ever know about. It’s all within what I am.
HOW CAN WE EXPLORE BOTH ENDS OF THE POLARITY?
In general, we can do it using whatever approach we are familiar with and works for us.
For me, I tend to do it through….
Dialog with each of these parts of me and getting to know them, how they see the world, how they see me and how I relate to them, how they see each other, what advice they have for me, and so on.
Inquiry into both ends of the polarity, whether I use The Work of Byron Katie or Living Inquiries.
Energy work for both ends of the polarity, in my case using Vortex Healing.
Connecting with the energy of one and then the other. Notice and allow. Notice they have the same true nature as myself. Allowing them to unfold and unravel, and align more with reality.
A FEW MORE WORDS ABOUT THE DYNAMIC
I’ll say a few more things about the dynamic.
We often identify with one end of these polarities and don’t recognize the other in us, and this is part of what creates and holds the issue in place. We may see one end in us and the other end out in the world, so we overlook the importance of addressing how both operate in us.
Our culture sometimes reinforce issues for that reason. Other people and stories in the culture often reinforce the idea that one end of the polarity is out there and the other is in here, so we don’t get the chance to explore both in ourselves – which is where the solution is.
Both ends of the polarity are needed within us to maintain the issue. Without an inner victimizer, we couldn’t feel like a victim. They depend on each other.
If we only address one, the other end will still be here in us, and that will tend to recreate the issue.
Often, we are aware of the other end of the polarity in us without recognizing it for what it is. For instance, we be aware of the thought “life is unfair” and believe it and feel like a victim. What we may not initially recognize is that this thought, when it’s believed, is what creates the sense of victimhood. It’s not only the thought of a victim, it’s also the victimizer thought. It’s the thought creating a sense of victim in me. When I engage in it, I make myself a victim. It’s innocent and normal, and good to notice.
Projection work, inquiry, and inner dialog are often good ways to find both ends of the polarity in us, especially if we are willing to look at anything – any situation and story – that has a charge for us.
These polarities in us are here to protect us. They were the best way our mind knew how to protect us in a situation in the past, and often early in life. They may be confused and misguided, from our adult perspective, and at the same time come from desire to protect us and kindness and love. In a very real sense, they are confused love.