Click here to Download Embracing Our Selves PDF Book by Hal Stone and Sidra Stone having PDF Size 1.2 MB and No of Pages294.
The idea that we have many different “voices” or subpersonalities within us was not new to me. Since childhood I had been fascinated with the story The Three Faces of Eve, sensing, perhaps, that it had more relevance to all of us than we might realize. As an adult I had done considerable work with gestalt, transactional analysis, Jungian therapy, and other forms of consciousness work which involve the awareness of many different aspects within the self.
Embracing Our Selves PDF Book by Hal Stone and Sidra Stone
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About Book – Embracing Our Selves PDF Book
But I had never seen or heard it described so clearly and accurately with such insight and understanding. Eager to learn more, I read the first edition of this book, took an introductory seminar, and began using Voice Dialogue in my own personal process and in my work with others. The more I learned and worked with it, the more excited I felt. The process was fascinating and the results were powerful and dramatic.
Within a short time I met and got to know Hal and Sidra themselves. I have sometimes had the experience of reading a book that moved me deeply, subsequently meeting the author, and feeling somewhat disappointed that the personality did not seem to match the material that came through it. My experience with Hal and Sidra was the opposite.
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In person they match their material beautifully—down-to-earth and unassuming, intelligent and creative, deeply wise and loving. They have become dear friends and teachers to me and have strongly influenced my personal life and my work. I feel blessed to have them in my life, and I’m excited about sharing their work with others.
We must keep in mind that Voice Dialogue is not a thing unto itself but rather a means to an end. As a tool for communication and for the exploration of consciousness, it helps to being to our awareness the inner knowing and deeper intuitions that lie dormant in each of us. It is one among a multitude of approaches that are concerned with the process of personal growth and transformation.
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However positive a tool Voice Dialogue may be, we must always keep the process primary—in this way the tool will remain in its proper perspective. In the first edition of this book, we presented our thinking about how the many selves interact in relationships, and we developed the theory of bonding patterns.
Since then our own thinking has deepened and has evolved to a considerable extent on matters of personal relationships in general and primary relationships in particular. On the recommendation of our editor, we have removed the relationship chapter from this book. Our more recent books, Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship, Embracing Each Other: How to Make Your Relationships Work for You, and The Shadow King: The Invisible Force that Holds Women Back, all deal with issues of relationship.
All went well until the day that an older tiger approached the goat herd and attacked and killed one of the goats. The rest of the goats ran away as soon as they saw the old tiger, but our tiger/goat saw no reason to run away, of course, for he sensed no danger. Although the old tiger was a veteran of many hunts, he had never in his life been as shocked as he was when he confronted the young tiger. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book
He did not know what to make of this full-grown tiger who smelled like a goat, bleated like a goat, and in every other way acted like a goat. Being a rather gruff old duffer, and not particularly sympathetic, the old tiger grabbed the young one by the scruff of the neck, dragged him to a nearby creek, and showed him his reflection in the water.
But the young tiger was unimpressed with his own reflection; it meant nothing to him and he failed to see his similarity to the old tiger. However, very early in this work it becomes clear that the ego has succumbed to a combination of different subperson-alities that have taken over its executive function.
Thus, what is functioning as the ego may, in fact, be a combination of the protector/controller, pusher, pleaser, perfectionist, and inner critic. This unique combination of subpersonalities, or energy systems, perceives the world in which we live, processes this information, and then directs our lives. When this happens, our ego has identified with these particular patterns. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book
Most people believe that they have free will because they choose to do a particular thing and they think that this is really choosing. We have discovered, however, that there is remarkably little choice in the world. Unless we awaken to the consciousness process, the vast majority of us are run by the energy patterns with which we are identified or by those which we have disowned.
Let us contrast an ego identified with a particular set of subpersonalities with an aware ego. A physician, John, wished to go to Mexico to practice medicine in order to help the poor people there. He considered himself very altruistic and spiritual, and he wished to do some kind of planetary service.
Shortly after he made his decision he dreamed he was sitting on a throne somewhere in Mexico, being honored with respect and gifts by the local peasants. I dreamt I was the emissary of some emperor, making contact and hopefully arranging an alliance with the sultan of a large country in the Middle East. It was about 800 A.D. I was with the sultan and he decided to take me for a tour of his palace. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book
After seeing all the beautiful aspects of it—fountains, gardens, and so on—he took me to the dungeons and prisons to show me how he dealt with people who were criminals or wrongdoers. He was very impersonal about his treatment of these people and felt he was fair and equitable in his handling of their punishment.
He showed me people being punished in the mildest manner, such as whipping for some minor infraction, to tortures and deaths by torture that ran the range from awful to revolting and ghastly! I, the messenger/emissary, was horrified and appalled at the sultan’s cold-blooded indifference to the suffering of the tortured and dying people.
He was proud of his system of punishments, feeling he was fairly assigning punishments. When I asked him how he could not be affected by the pain of his victims, he was surprised I should ask and just answered that human life was of small importance, and very expendable; that the lives of these people just didn’t matter. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book Download
I was shaken and revolted by his callous indifference to the incredibly horrible way he was torturing people to death. Then I woke up, feeling revolted, shaken, and appalled at the scenes of torture and dying, and terrified of the cold-blooded sultan I had just witnessed in my dream. In order to separate a subpersonality from the aware ego, encourage each voice to speak of the subject as a separate entity.
This is particularly important in the early stages of dialogue work when the voice will invariably say “I” when speaking of an event in the subject’s life. The voice might say, “I went to a party last night and met an interesting woman and I suddenly felt very inadequate.” The facilitator then separates the subject’s actions from the voice’s reaction.
“You mean, he went to a party and met an interesting woman … and you started to feel inadequate, right?” Sometimes a separation is not possible, even after many such interventions. If all else is going well and the subject seems to be making the differentiation between the subpersonalities and the aware ego, it is not necessary to insist on this separation. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book Download
The facilitator simply relaxes and continues the process, being careful to differentiate between the subject’s subpersonality and aware ego. This distinction can be strengthened by pointing to the positions around the room occupied by the various parts (including the aware ego) as they speak.
Voice Dialogue presents us with a tangible way of expanding the awareness level and clearly differentiating it from other components of consciousness— it is given a space all its own. As we described in our “guidelines” section, after the facilitator has finished a session, the subject stands next to the facilitator and faces the different selves that have just had the chance to speak.
This gives the subject essentially the same objective viewpoint as the facilitator. This placement is called the position of awareness. While the subject is standing in the position of awareness, the facilitator sums up the work that has been done. An experienced facilitator with a clear understanding of psychodynamics may give a fairly detailed analysis of the interaction between the different selves and the ego. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book Download
A less experienced facilitator might summarize in a much more limited way. As awareness and experience of the selves expands, the ability to understand and communicate the dynamic interactions within the psyche will also expand. The important thing is not to feel attached to the statements that are made.
The protector/controller is another major safeguard in this work. Because its purpose is to protect the subject, it often steps in to correct some action it fears might be detrimental. It may, for instance, take over a dialogue process if a subject’s vulnerability is threatened. When the protector/controller intervenes, either the quality and spontaneity of the communication will suddenly change, or the protector/controller itself may take over and begin to speak.
For example, the protector/controller might say, “That’s enough! Nancy has spent her entire life being frightened and it’s taken the rest of us a long time to learn to take risks. Now she needs to practice speaking up and taking care of herself. She needs to tell her husband how she feels and she can’t act like a scared rabbit at work. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give much more time to her frightened child. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book Free
It will set her back. She has had to fight long and hard to overcome the child’s fears and find some protection for it.” Thus the protector/controller helps the facilitator to keep the session in balance. These primary selves, then, develop and coalesce into what ultimately becomes known as our personality. Some may be related to genetic predispositions, others to purely environmental factors.
For example, one child may be predisposed to introverted behavior patterns, so, as blockages are encountered in the environment, this child may tend to retreat within by engaging in fantasy. Another child may develop into an extrovert and interact with the environment in assertive, or even aggressive, ways.
These behavioral responses may be determined by genetic considerations, sibling placement, and the particular relationship which exists between child and parents. The personality is fundamentally a system of energy patterns that helps to protect our vulnerability. As this system evolves, we become powerful and strong. Vulnerability, as we have said, is generally not rewarded; power and strength are. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book Free
So we go to good schools and get a good education and thus become more powerful. We learn how to study and work. We learn how to get what we want. We learn to please and to drive ourselves unmercifully in our quest for success. And we become even more powerful. As Sally listened to her hippie, her consciousness separated from the pusher.
She decided to try to relax and follow some of the hippie’s suggestions. The change was nothing short of miraculous. As her pusher backed off, her husband’s hippie pulled out of his relationship with Sally—it happened in perfect balance. Sally’s husband began to worry and accept some responsibility for finances and the burden was suddenly an equally shared set of concerns.
Together, they handled everything beautifully, and together they were able to relax and feel mutually supported, and to move ahead in ways neither felt were possible before. Their relationship was deeper, stronger, and solidly balanced. They also had much more fun. As we said earlier, we are born into the world quite vulnerable, and fairly early in life we discover that being vulnerable is not the best way to be. Embracing Our Selves PDF Book Free
We develop a personality made up of our primary selves that is, in effect, a defense against vulnerability. The pusher is one of the cornerstones of that personality for most people. Working hand-in-hand with the protector/controller, it incorporates all the parental and societal injunctions, all the things we should and should not do, into our personalities. We never realize that our life is being lived for us by an energy pattern that dominates us.