Small selves -
We like to think of ourselves as one whole person. But the truth is that we are made up of lots of little parts. One part may be worried about finishing a project at work. Another part might feel good about your weekend plans. And a third part might feel grumpy towards someone in your family.
As we go throughout our day these little parts arise, speak, and then disappear. But sometimes one of these parts won’t leave us alone. They arise again and again to tell us their concerns and no matter what we do, they won’t go away.
One way to think of these parts is that they are tiny versions of ourselves trapped in a limited view or perspective on the world. This tiny you wants to calm down, but they just can’t see how to find relief.
Luckily we all have access to an amazing tool to help. I‘ll call this tool the BIG YOU. This BIG YOU is the biggest, wisest, and most confident version of you. And best of all this BIG YOU exists in a space big enough to handle all the worried little you’s imaginable.
The BIG YOU is capable of seeing these little you’s and understanding their pain. The BIG YOU feels compassion and a desire to help these little you’s, without getting caught up in their worldview.
You may not think you have a BIG YOU, but in truth, you definitely do. Everyone has a BIG YOU; you just have to know how to find it.
Finding Your BIG YOU
One of the good things about having a little you that’s out of control is that it can help you access your BIG YOU. To do this you must first notice the little you and see its view on the world.
You might notice yourself thinking, “I’ve got so much work to do, I don’t know if I can get it done. I’m really worried, there isn’t enough time.”
As you notice this, you might realize Oh! This is a little you. This little you is worried about time, and is afraid there isn’t enough of it.
Then take out a sheet of paper and write “Little You” at the top. Then pause for a moment and step into that worried energy. Feel what it would be like to be the part of yourself that’s always worried about getting work done. Don’t stay here for long, but just enough time to get a good feeling for this little you.
Then answer these questions:
- What is this little you afraid of?
- What is this little you worried about?
- What view of the world does this little you have?
Next Draw a line on the paper and write BIG YOU:
Then pause for a moment and imagine your biggest, wisest, most compassionate, and most confident self. Feel the ease in your body as you step into this big self.
Feel how this BIG YOU opens up into a bigger space. Nothing seems insurmountable anymore. You feel calm and at peace.
Then from this space answer these questions:
- How does BIG YOU see the current situation?
- What is BIG YOU aware of that little you isn’t?
- What worldview does BIG YOU have?
- What possibilities or opportunities does BIG YOU see?
Next, while still in this BIG YOU voice, look over the things that the little you wrote.
As you do this answer these questions:
- What might BIG YOU say to this little you?
- What would BIG YOU wish the little you knew?
- What comfort or help could BIG YOU offer little you?
- What objections might little you have?
- How might BIG YOU respond to these suggestions?
As you write, imagine that BIG YOU and little you are talking. Make sure BIG YOU is listening and respecting little you. Make sure BIG YOU is comforting and kind to little you in every way possible.
Then after you’ve stopped writing pause and read over everything. As you read feel your self seated at the center of your biggest self. Notice how this space doesn’t exclude any difficult part, but instead includes each little you as an important part of the whole.
Then as you go about your day remember that this BIG YOU is there whenever you need it. Take time to pause and remember what it feels like to walk around as BIG YOU. Ask yourself as you study, cook, clean, or exercise. Can I step into my biggest self in this moment?