“Hello Darkness, My Old Friend”
I always loved the lyric, “Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again” from the song Sounds of Silence by Paul Simon. I love his affirmation that darkness is his friend. I feel that darkness is my friend, too.
In Parts Work, like all soul work, we gradually discover that all that arises within and around us is an expression of the One Psyche in whom we all are encompassed. Aspects of life that feel unfamiliar, dangerous, oppositional, frightening, or otherwise unwanted eventually reveal themselves to be a friend.
All dark shadows are another face of what we all are. Hidden, distorted through the schisms of self-alienation, but not, in the end, actually distinct from us. Can we learn to name all our Parts as friends?
Hello darkness, my old friend. Hello despair. Hello agitation. Hello anger. Hello fear. Hello suffering. Hello loss. Hello death. Hello hope. Hello vitality. Hello resilience.
The Baffling Parts
In my own decades of self-healing practices, through Expressive Arts and other kinds of soul recovery, it has been inexpressibly helpful to get to know and understand the more baffling Parts of my own nature, the ones that seem like outer enemies or exasperating inner saboteurs.
The Part of me that prefers to be less than my full potential, for example. For God’s sake, why? asks another Part, a frustrated Part who reaches her wits end because of my noncooperation with social norms.
And yet the submerged, unwanted, shadow-burdened Part whispers of the protections of being hidden away, out of sight, out of mind, out of target range.
She reminds me how, when you act like you don’t matter, no one will take an unhealthy interest you, you cannot be skewered by envy, or projected upon, or anything. How in silence and invisibility we are sometimes safer. How in failure we can perhaps succeed better, in the dark unnoticed, serving our true work while no one sees.
I remember why this was necessary before. It helps me see it might not be needed anymore.
Understanding myself better, why I sabotage, why I rebel, why I fight my own nature, what I resist and why I resist it, is a return of soul to Soul. Bringing myself back to my Self, and my Self back to myself.
Through Parts Work we not only liberate shadow Parts, but uncover Spiritual Parts. We walk a path of rediscovery, recognition, and reunion with Parts who have been there all along within one’s energy.
These Parts are the parts of our own Psyche – again, shared with All, even while we all have our own experiences of them – that are stunning, beautiful, remarkable, moving.
When we understand the messages these Parts have for us, we cry, we are grateful, we change our feelings from resentment, victimization, and bitterness, into joy. We soften into self-forgiveness, seeing how our pain, our suffering has all, after all, been worth it. We walk through doorways of the heart into spirit.
These Parts speak to us with such kindness and mercy that we are moved by our own natures, by what we carry within us, what has always been there in the background music of our bodies, our hearts, our spirits, our dreams.
Getting to know our Spiritual Parts is another way of saying we build a relationship with our own God natures.
Exercise for Reconnecting with Spiritual Parts:
- Close your eyes and settle into a safe-feeling position in your body, perhaps through placing your hands on a section of your body that would like some comforting contact. I like one hand on the heart, one hand on the belly.
- From your safe position, take a few breaths and then allow yourself to imagine or remember feeling relaxed, safe, held, and connected. Trust whichever image pops into your mind first, and don’t worry about choosing a perfect one. Feel loved, in touch with your own value, the beauties of this world, with goodness.
- After having summoned up this memory or image, spend a little time writing about or drawing it. Get down as much information as you can about the context, the situation, what you experienced.
- Now take the lens that this memory or image represents a time you had contact with a Spiritual Part, that there is a Divine Someone connected to this experience, a Loving Presence who was there giving you those feelings of love and safety.
- What name could be given to this Part? What are they like? What qualities do they emanate and radiate towards you? What strikes you about them?
- See what happens if you begin a dialogue between your ordinary-you personality and this Part.
Hi Big Sunny Spirit Part.
Hi, my love.
Thank you for being here.
Thank YOU for being here.
Want to dialogue?
Yes! What are your troubles? What can I take from your little shoulders? I love you so much.