In order to work with subpersonalities, we must first try to understand their separate qualities. We can consult many good books on archetypes, some of which are listed below. We may find them useful in determining the different dynamic roles they have in the forming of our ego.
Examples of subpersonalities
This subpersonality is developed in childhood when the infant/child is dependent upon others for survival. The innocent wants to be loved and to be a part of things, to be socially acceptable, to fit in and to make others love and be proud of us.
This subpersonality tries to protect us from being abandoned, hurt or victimized by helping us to recognize and avoid situations that are 'likely to hurt us'. This may or may not be useful. The Orphan uses phrases like
'I don't care' - 'Leave me alone' - and may manifest itself as a rebellious attitude.
This subpersonality is responsible for getting things done. Acting in terms of our own self-interest or to help others. It may manifest in the form of the shadow warrior, which will 'do' at all costs whatever it things will help to avoid negative feelings and the influence of other subpersonalities.
In its shadow form, the Caregiver wants to take care of everyone. Like the mother, who does everything for her children at the expense of herself. A healthy expression of the caregiver may be witnessed in nursing others when they are sick or providing opportunities for children by paying school fees and the like. A healthy caregiver is one step back from the recipient of the care as true nurturing means allowing room for others to grow.
The seeker can be witnessed in the child who continually asks 'why?' The seeker is always searching for something as life feels meaningless and empty. The goal of the seeker is to find our true purpose in life, what will really make us happy.
The destroyer is responsible for quitting jobs, leaving spouses and ending unhealthy friendships. In a shadow sense the destroyer might get out of control and destroy some of the things we'd be better off keeping.
The artist, writer, poet types the maker of dreams, the inventor that discovers ways of making new things and of unfolding new dreams. The creator subpersonality will assist you in making your life less stale, more flowing, in conveying your ideas to others, contributing to the collective dreams of humanity.
The lover is gentle and reaches out gently to others. Following a loving acceptance of ourselves, we may gently reach out to others, contributing ones unique abilities for the greater good of all. This subpersonality can be activated, when love comes to us in the form of romantic or idealistic love somehow to help us transform the fear of losing the taste of living, at the superficiality, cruelty and indifference around us. Integrating this personality can help us to find a way forward as true human beings, loving and nurturing one another.
The fool makes us laugh when things are bad. The fool is the observer of the illusions of this man made world, he is a kind of an outsider who is not touched by responsibilities. He can get away by being sometimes nasty, critical and childish in a funny way… because he is the “fool” people cannot “touch” him. He is the subpersonality that teaches us how to laugh at ourselves… Examples, when we have to work all day at a job we don’t enjoy doing, the fool kicks in to find a humorous way of accepting and working in that situation… the fool helps us transform a stale or negative situation into something different. The Fool is open, an outsider that has some magic attached to itself because he feels free from conditioning of any kind. A very useful subpersonality.
The Magician could be symbolized by the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly through its cocoon. The magician winds a protective cover around itself, reorganizes the elements of the personality and emerges, renewed, energized and somehow truer.
The sage is quiet and stable and holds the quality of knowingness. A good subpersonality to draw on when feeling stressed and caught up in the flow of life. Hold onto the calm centered knowingness of the sage and progress calmly, quietly and reliably through your journey.
The rulers job is to blend the other subpersonalities into a continuous expression.
The Ruler makes the decisions to leave something and start a new (enacted by the destroyer and the creator). The Ruler decides who will do what in order to ensure the completion of the goal in a timely manner. If the ruler were to be a computer program he/she would be Microsoft Project, the planner with the ultimate authority!
3 - Close you eyes and relax… take a few deep breaths and imagine yourself in a beautiful valley going for a long walk with your chosen subpersonality. Together, you are walking and enjoying your surroundings…the fields of flowers, the trees… a mountain and anything else that appears around your stroll in the countryside…. Take some time to become aware of the sounds of nature around you - birds chirping, the wind in the trees and the like…. (pause)
Now begin to walk up the mountain with your subpersonality. As you keep ascending, you can imagine seeing all kinds of scenery, keep in touch with the increasing sense of height and altitude... (pause)
Pay attention to your subpersonality. You might see it change mood, facial expression or dress, or even a radical transformation into something else.
When you reach the top of the mountain, let the sunrays and the light of the sun shine on both of you… on your subpersonality and yourself… now look again at your subpersonality… what do you see…has the essence of your subpersonality changed… just describe what you see and feel for yourself…(pause).
Now look around and focus your attention on something impressive and imposing like a big tree or a powerful rock… when you find it, go towards that powerful spot accompanied by your subpersonality… when you are both near your chosen place… stand in silence in front of that power spot…become aware of each others presence…(remember that your subpersonality can take any shape and become even an object) and when you feel that you are in contact with your subpersonality, asks its name?…what is its quality?… what does it need from you or another subpersonality?… What do you need from it? Take a few minutes and exchange a dialogue, and when you are ready… open your eyes and continue your dialogue in writing. (pause)