In The Peace Treaty, the final part of the subpersonalities trilogy, you were presented with a few creative visualisation options for bringing your subpersonalities together. Those exercises were based on the discovery that each subpersonality is awash with virtue, and those virtues can be used to form new friendships and collaborations, thereby integrating the ‘community of the self’ in a healthy, productive way.
The peace treaty is the most important part of the subpersonality process, because simply dwelling on how many subpersonalities we have, and how awfully they can behave, is not the point of this self-examination exercise. It’s about deepening our understanding, creating harmony, and then orchestrating a reunion.
The transfer of power
To orchestrate this reunion, we must remember the primacy of the observing self. One of the reasons we have become so lost in the maze of the subpersonalities is that we have mistaken them for who we are. We have not realised they are only fragments of the self, they do not tell the whole story, nor do they know the whole story.
Because of the way they were conceived, they have become islands of self-preservation, unaware of the continent they were once a part of. All the energy that then flows in their direction leads to us forgetting where we stand in this story. There is a transfer of power as the subpersonalities, over time, begin to develop separate and distinct identities, and the observing self (the spirit, the authentic one) becomes a shadow of itself, believing that the best way to survive is to invest in this new geographical landscape. And as the story unfolds the original continent fades into the background, lost to awareness, the islands become stronger and new civilisations are created.
It’s time to return the power from these island civilisations back to the continent, from which they came. This poses no threat to the subpersonalities because they no longer need to operate economies based on fear, shame, inadequacy, anger, pain, and guilt.
We can handle this transfer of power through something we call virtue facing. Virtue facing is a term we use at Reach to describe the subpersonalities turning away from the vices they’ve accrued and turning towards the virtues that were lost to trauma, mixed messages, pain and hurt.
Listed below are four other ways you could consider, when completing the peace treaty exercise. See if any of these appeal to you. Holding onto the importance of the observing self, and its central role in this story of integration, is vital to the success of this activity, whichever route you take.
- Creating a virtue scope
It was suggested in How to Make Peace with your Subpersonalities that once you identify your main subpersonalities, you could produce circles or squares which would house the primary characters and from that create a Venn diagram showing how they interface and overlap with one another. The best diagrams are often done in different colours, so that at a quick glance you can see the topography of the inner landscape. Understanding your own idiosyncrasies enables you to better navigate the terrain.
These diagrams are best kept simple. The subtleties and intricacies (traits) of the subpersonalities are many and can become complex, so, finding a way to include them in a diagram can be a challenge. What is often useful is having supplementary notes to support the visual representation. Some find it beneficial to create a chart or table helping to highlight the way the traits interface and overlap with one another. You may find another way of listing or documenting these traits that complements your diagram.
If you now take your diagram, and remove all the negative traits, and populate it with the virtues of your primary characters (as listed in The Peace Treaty), you create what we call a virtue scope. This is where your subpersonalities become virtue facing, which means they are returned to their original nature, and a wonderful kaleidoscope is created, full of opportunity and possibility. It’s so satisfying to see the inversion of the vices that have spoiled the way you feel about yourself and have limited your progress in so many ways. Now the enormous potential that has lain dormant, waiting to be tapped and expressed, is visible, probably for the first time.
Creating a Venn diagram where the virtues are visually depicted in different colours, is a wonderful way to construct a peace treaty, because every time you see it, it will remind you that your subpersonalities are full of virtues, which will edge you ever closer to integration, holism, and harmony. This diagram can now replace the first version, which going forward is no longer needed.
Place this diagram on your message board, make a screen saver of it and put it on your devices. Put it anywhere it can serve as a visual reminder of your promise to yourself. The more you use it as a map to guide you, the more its messages will indelibly leave their mark on your heart and soul.
- Letters from the heart
For those who prefer expressing themselves in writing, this approach may be more appealing. Having identified the key subpersonalities, writing a heartfelt letter to each one is a powerful way to lovingly persuade those subpersonalities to recognise, and then return to a virtuous state.
You may remember that in the first part of the trilogy you were invited to encourage your subpersonalities to express their fears and concerns, as well as their desires and hopes. Now, you can, through your writing, explain how a virtue facing life will better meet their needs and enable them to fulfil their dreams and ambitions. As a result, the old narrative of self-preservation is transformed, creating a new paradigm, based on kindness, community, and cooperation.
As you compose each letter, make it clear that it’s a new day. Emphasise the power of a virtuous life, free of tension and conflict. Highlight the indisputable truth that as valuable as a finger is, it’s nothing compared to what the hand can do.
When writing these letters, express yourself from the heart and focus on the outcome you wish for. Repeat this process with all your prime subpersonalities, ensuring each one is acknowledged, and valued. Sincerity and honesty are critical to this process.
This exercise may take several days, it could even take a few weeks. The important thing is not to rush it. When you’ve written these letters, make sure you spend time ‘listening’ to the response from each subpersonality. It’s only by really listening in, that you can integrate their different feelings into the peace treaty. So, take some time to contemplate and pull together what you have heard and gleaned, and at the end of it you can write a peace treaty worthy of its signatories.
- Spending quality time
Another way to construct your peace treaty, which may appeal, is spending a day with each of your subpersonalities. You might, once you’ve embarked on this exercise, having done the rounds, repeat the process, to extend the time and conversation with each one. Whatever you do, make sure you offer them an equal amount of time and attention.
Stepping into the world of each subpersonality and feeling your way through the process with each one, is a very powerful way to move from vice to virtue. Having got to know your subpersonalities and now understanding their virtues, it’s much easier to move into a loving, persuasive conversation. You’re now able to have heartfelt dialogues about a brighter future, where synergy and holism are at the centre of your life, where peace replaces conflict, compassion replaces cruelty and love replaces fear and despair.
When setting up these conversations, choose the context and environment that is most befitting of each personality. This might be walking along a beach, sitting at a table, communing with nature, or sitting in a special place. Wherever it is, creative visualisation is a very powerful way to imagine these dialogues, to embody and express feelings, and to create new realities out of those experiences.
At the end of this process, bring your subpersonalities together and imagine them shaking hands and lovingly embracing. This should be a warm, deeply emotional affair, where the community of the self embarks on a new path of civility, community, and love.
This activity can stand alone, but it can be a valuable precursor to the letter writing approach, because after spending time with each subpersonality, you may choose to go on to document in writing what has been discussed and agreed.
- Creating a treatise
Those of you familiar with The Reach Approach will be aware of our worksheets on the importance of a Personal Prayer. We have for years encouraged clients and other interested parties to come up with their own personal vision/mission statement. We use the word prayer in relation to this activity, not in a religious sense, although for some it may well have a religious connotation. We use the term to denote respect and reverence for an ideal, hope or belief. It’s important on the road of self-improvement to create a philosophy and from that a code of conduct. Putting this in writing so that it speaks to us again and again is one of the reasons that personal prayers are so powerful and work. Those who use them as a pledge to themselves find that they increase the likelihood of success in every area of their lives.
Writing a unifying document (a treatise), which has subsections representing the different voices and needs of the subpersonalities, woven together in one piece, is an extremely powerful instrument for producing positive change, when this treatise is regularly read and recited. For some this will be a preferred way to construct their treaty. It can also be recorded and listened to, as this is an effective way to imbibe the message as well.
In the end, this document will become your personal constitution, your ten commandments, your state of the union address… a statement that pulls together the very essence of your beliefs, passions, hopes and dreams.
This written exercise might be a natural extension of the letters from the heart, written to each subpersonality – if that was your preferred way of creating your treaty. These two can comfortably stand alone or complement each other.
Whatever route you take, your victory is assured, if your peace treaty remains an active document in your life. It’s not something to be created and then sit on a shelf.
It’s important to remember, there’s no wrong or right way when it comes to producing your treaty, it’s just what works best for you.
Take your time to contemplate the best route, which might be any one of these options or a combination of them… or something entirely of your own creation.
Those who embark on this journey and do not allow anything to get in the way of their efforts, end up feeling they have done something truly extraordinary. The observing self (authentic self) is returned to its rightful place, sitting on the seat of self-respect, surrounded by a loving community of equals and allies, committed to stability, good mental health, and well-being.
Sincerely commit to this undertaking, as it will be one of the most important things you ever do.
Also see: Subpersonalities – Peace Treaty (Part 3)